Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

A What The Hell political journal ~ Nov. 1, 2016


Follow along with me — won’t you? — as I document the events of the next seven days. We have arrived at the top of the roller coaster’s last peak, the tallest of them all, and we’re about to career headlong to our national fate. Will we wind up in a deep dark pool of tepid goo or a vat of sulfurous orange hell fire?

Obviously I’m greatly concerned over the weekend’s events. James Comey (who is a freakish 6′ 8″ I didn’t know till now) decided to stage a preemptive coup by sending Republican leaders in congress the most repellant kind of email porn — a letter suggesting that there might be new dirt on Hillary via Anthony Weiner’s sticky laptop. And of course they disseminated it immediately, just about soiling themselves with their own tepid goo as they spewed excitedly about Hillary’s “criminal activities.”

Take it from John Dean — Hillary is no Richard Nixon.

Last night my wife and dog and I huddled in the bedroom watching a bad movie in the dark so we wouldn’t get any trick or treaters. Only this morning do I understand that this was a metaphor for the next four to eight years.

It occurred to me yesterday that a better way to select our president would be for the people to pick someone who’s unwilling to serve. It would work like Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery,” but instead of killing the poor unfortunate by stoning, we’d force him or her to sit through endless meetings with Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan. Personally I think I’d prefer stoning, so I hope they don’t pick me, but at least we’d be certain the president didn’t get there out of narcissistic ambition.

I now see how the conditions of Carmac McCarthy’s The Road came about.

At least one other neurotic has selected this paragraph from that book as the scariest passage in all of literature. I feel like we’re there, right now:

He started down the rough wooden steps. He ducked his head and then flicked the lighter and swung the flame out over the darkness like an offering. Coldness and damp. An ungodly stench. He could see part of a stone wall. Clay floor. An old mattress darkly stained. He crouched and stepped down again and held out the light.

Don’t go, America. Don’t go down there!


10 comments on “A What The Hell political journal ~ Nov. 1, 2016

  1. kingmidget
    November 1, 2016

    Have you seen the reports about the Trump server that was exclusively linked to a Russian bank until somebody started asking questions about it — and at that point the link was magically severed? Or the former intelligence officer who has stayed in contact with the intelligence community who has provided what he believes is solid evidence to the FBI. Evidence that shows the Russians trying to “turn” Trump for years.

    Odd how the FBI hasn’t advised Congress of any of this information. At least not publicly.

    • Kevin Brennan
      November 1, 2016

      Just heard about the Trump server this morning. Doh!

      This all reminds me of how Reagan’s boys went to the Iranians in 1980 and said, “Hang onto those hostages till after the election. We have a deal for you.” WTF?

      Here in the cradle of democracy we sure got ourselves a dirty system, don’t we? Do as we say, not as we do.

  2. Phillip McCollum
    November 1, 2016

    “It occurred to me yesterday that a better way to select our president would be for the people to pick someone who’s unwilling to serve.”

    An occurrence that has also occurred to me many times!

    • Kevin Brennan
      November 1, 2016

      It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? Anybody who wants it so bad they do the things required to get it ought to be disqualified automatically.

  3. 1WriteWay
    November 2, 2016

    The Lottery is probably my all-time favorite short story. I often feel that the (many) candidates who do choose to run for President are playing a sort of lottery, one that could pay off big if they win, but there are smaller prizes to be had (media attention, free meals, media attention). But if we had a true lottery for President, well, yes, the “prize” would be worse than stoning.

    • Kevin Brennan
      November 2, 2016

      I just read an interesting piece about Jackson in the NYTRB. Not sure I ever read the story, but I remember the weird film of it they showed in high school …

      Maybe we can hold stoning in reserve for the next election!

      • 1WriteWay
        November 3, 2016

        Oh, do read the story. I’ve read it so many times and yet it still gives me chills.

  4. Woebegone but Hopeful
    November 4, 2016

    I think the phrase is “These are times which try (or is it ‘test’) men’s souls”.

    One flicker of light from you via the UK’s BBC Radio 4; interview with two 18 year olds from the US; one a libertarian the other a Green Party follower: They are both disappointed with the quality of the debate this election on both sides.
    There maybe hope for the future.

    (We’ve got it in the UK too. Just had a High Court ruling on the Brexit procedure, and according to pro-leave Europe ‘news’ papers the three judges are possibly the worse criminals ever seen since the Nuremburg War Crimes trails)

    • Kevin Brennan
      November 4, 2016

      Not so sure we have a lot of engaged young people here. When Bernie Sanders lost, they sort of withdrew from reality.

      I saw that Brexit decision and thought for one brief moment you might actually be able to back away from the brink. Sounds like wishful thinking.

      (At least the News of the World is gone!)

      • Woebegone but Hopeful
        November 4, 2016

        Yes, but regrettably the Daily Mail, Daily Express and The Sun are still there, dragging the standards down because they sell the most papers.

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