Political Ditch Theory: The Shoulder & The Road

Here’s a thing I’ve had on my mind for a while and since Joe Biden decided to throw his weird little hat in the ring today, I might as well put my thoughts out there. I have no strong feelings on Biden, the “Is Pepsi okay” of Democratic presidential candidates in 2020 but apparently a lot of people do as he has done well in various polls before his announcement.

Perhaps Biden reminds people of a better time, such as B.T. (Before Trump) and they want to go back there even if that means going back to the time that led immediately to Trump and pressing “reset”. As if we can get a mulligan on 2016.

Since the Democratic field for 2020 has expanded to over 777 candidates (by my estimates) each candidate is coming with their unique vision for America. And with so many candidates, certain lanes of ideology get crowded. Who’s a progressive? Who’s a leftist? Who’s a centrist? So many candidates, so little room? It’s a crowded highway and we’re months away from the first debate.

But I want you to imagine a different road. It’s a simple two-laner with a shoulder between the road and the ditch. Imagine your car in the ditch. America is that car right now. We’re in the ditch, folks. Aint no other way to put it. Ditch time in America.

It’s our choice. Do we want to stay in the ditch or do we want to get back on the road and go forward? I don’t know about you but I’d like to get going already. We’ve been in the ditch way too long. I assume you agree with me or you wouldn’t be reading this.

Oh we could conceivably go forward driving on the shoulder but that’s not what the shoulder is made for. The shoulder is for emergency stops. Besides, there’s all types of debris on the shoulder like pieces of ripped-up tires and rocks and stuff. If you gotta drive on the shoulder, you gotta do it real slow. Not the recommended path forward at all. At this point, getting back up on the shoulder just isn’t enough. We’re in the ditch, I mean. We want to get back on the road so we can get going.

Now we don’t want to get in the oncoming lane. We only do that when we want to pass and only when it’s safe to do so. If we stay in the oncoming lane too long, we risk getting hit by a tractor-trailer or something and then we’re really screwed. No, it’s fine enough to stay in our lane. Steady progress going forward. Does any of this make sense? Did I go too far with the oncoming lane bit?

I didn’t say anything about a median because I don’t have an analogy for that.

An Incredible Payoff

On the morning of April 18th, the Mueller Report finally rolled out. A 448-page document containing numerous redacted parts, the Mueller Report lays out a potential case of obstruction of justice for the man who currently pretends to be President of our strange country.

The potential for impeachment by our Congress seems nil. Our Democrat House is loathe to start proceedings and the Republican Senate is loathe to vote out one of their own, even though his crimes are the type that would make Richard Nixon weep with envy. They seem to want to let the individual investigations play themselves out (good idea) and let the public decide of the fate of the Trump Administration in 2020 (not so good idea).

We are in a real quagmire at this point in American history but there is a way out, and if the Congress is intent on letting the public litigate it in a year-and-a-half, then we might as well make the most out of it.

Consider these five facts:

  1. It is Department of Justice policy to not indict a sitting President.
  2. Trump is up for re-election in 2020.
  3. Theoretically, he could lose re-election and his term would end in January 2021.
  4. No one said an ex-President couldn’t be prosecuted after their term expired.
  5. We’ve never done that before, but there’s always a first time.

Wouldn’t that be some type of cosmic payoff? If Dotard himself lost in November ’20 and then was charged with obstruction of justice three months later when a new President was sworn in (whoever s/he is). The Mueller Report lays out a strong case for obstruction of justice, a much stronger case than the one of collaborating in electoral interference with a foreign power.

Think about it? Wouldn’t you just once want to see a President go to jail? There’s a chance we could make that happen if we only got out in droves and voted the bastard out of office. How many times have you wanted to lock up a politician? Lord knows a bunch of Trump cucks wanted Hillary in the joint. We’ve never seen an ex-President in prison scrubs. THIS COULD BE OUR BEST CHANCE.

It’s not like I want to see politicians go to jail for the fun of it (although sometimes I do) but come on. Look at the things some of them get away with and how they walk away from the collateral damage of their actions with book deals and speaking gigs and think tanks and fellowships at prestigious universities and pictures with Bradley Cooper. It’s not fair. Henry Kissinger should be rotting in a cell. Oliver North should be spotting for real men lifting weights in the yard. Colin Powell should be working in the prison library.

If Donald Trump isn’t facing obstruction of justice charges by the end of 2021, we might as write off this country as completely hopeless. But it doesn’t have to be that way. All we have to do is take a moment out of our boring lives, take a moment out of thinking “all politicians are the same” because I assure you I thought the same thing until I got a taste of this soup. All we have to do is get our asses in gear and VOTE. That’s it. Me and you, your mama and your cousin too.

These last few years have been so shitty and we could really turn it around and have an amazing payoff. And what better payoff could there be than putting a former President in the joint?

I mean, Prince and Bowie aren’t coming back.

The Final Scene in “Game Of Thrones”

We are in a cold, damp-looking castle. On a barren dais stands four empty thrones, side-by-side. Running in from the darkness is Jaime Lannister. He does or doesn’t have one arm. No one can remember. He stops before the four thrones and stares in awe before gathering his breath and thoughts to say to himself “I have won the game!”

As he takes his first step towards the dais, a voice calls out. “Not so fast, Lannister! You have not won the game. There is still one more battle to fight.” From the darkness steps Jon Snow, sword in hand. He has a He-Man sword because he lost his original sword. It’s either under the bed or got vacuumed up or something.

“I got here first. I win. I am the King,” says Jaime. “We agreed on this that I would win this time.”

Jon Snow scowls in disapproval and says “NOOOOO! I want to do battle one more time!”

Jaime pouts: “It’s not fair.”

Out of a leaky bourbon barrel crawls little Tyrion Lannister, Jaime’s brother. He has a scar on his face but he can’t feel it because he is so drunk. He is in a good mood because he is very drunk. Being drunk makes him happy because he is too small to be a man.

“Who says you are here first, my big little brother?”, Tyrion hiccups and giggles. “I have been here this entire time drinking out of the barrel. I’ve been waiting for you to show up so I could tell you I won the game.”

Jaime Lannister stamps his feet in protest. “That is so stupid. You couldn’t possibly survive in a barrel that long. We’ve been chasing this throne for years!”

Tyrion stumbles around before putting on a hockey goalie mask and laughing to himself. “But NAY my brother! I am so small! I cannot make love to a woman! I have nothing to live for except these thrones and the game! While you were making love to women and losing your arm and getting your arm back, I was plotting in this barrel. I was drinking and waiting for my chance to be the king! And I have done it. Little did I know there were four thrones. I thought there would only be one. There are enough thrones for all of us. I want to sit now because I’m afraid I will vomit from alcohol poisoning.”

The half-ling staggers toward the dais. Jon Snow whines that he wants the middle throne. Just then, Daenerys flies into the castle on a dragon and yells “BEHOLD! I have dragons!” I am the king, er. . . queen!” Daenerys either has one dragon or three dragons, but she lost two of them. They’re probably in a closet or got vacuumed up with the sword.

Jon Snow offers his hand to Daenerys and they begin to roll around on the floor making big kissy noises. Tyrion falls asleep in one of the thrones and goes into a stupor. The dragon just stands there.

Spiderman shows up. Jaime Lannister protests.

“Why is he even here? He’s not part of this world. You’re ruining it.”

One of the girls from Frozen show up and she is noticeably taller than the others. Jaime pretends she is Brienne of Tarth but she doesn’t know who that is. Clearly she should win the game because she is taller and bigger than everyone else.

“This isn’t working. I don’t like this.”

Another Spiderman shows up and squeezes the Frozen girl’s boobs. They start rolling around the floor making kissy noises and end up over where Jon Snow and Daenerys are and it becomes it a big sloppy kiss fest where everyone is rolling around. Tony Soprano shows up with a gun and says “hey fuggedaboutit” and starts shooting everyone.


He’s ruining the game again. He does this every time we play. I don’t want to play with him anymore. He’s ruining the canon. His cross-platform doesn’t work at all.”

John Cena shows up and starts punching Tony Soprano. Ramsay Bolton comes in and cuts everyone’s peters off, except John Cena’s because Ramsay Bolton can’t see him.

“I’m done playing. STOP IT.”

We see two children playing on the living room floor of an average suburban house. All the action figures are scattered on the floor. We see other toys that haven’t been introduced yet, like Harry Potter and some GI Joe’s. One boy is maybe eleven and the other is eight. The youngest boy is wearing his hockey goalie mask and the eleven-year-old is upset. Their mother pokes her head out from the kitchen to admonish her boys.

“Look if you two don’t quit I’m going to send you outside. It’s just a game.”

“Mom, you don’t understand. This is not just a game.”

The eleven-year-old boy looks at the camera and says “This is a game. . . of thrones!”

-end scene-

-credits song:

Sometimes It Snows In April… Revisited

It’s coming up soon, three years from the day Prince Rogers Nelson took that elevator and left this mortal coil. And if that aint a damn shame then I don’t know what is.

Watch that video and tell me if you don’t believe that the man sitting there playing guitar is going to live to be ninety and end up like one of those Shaolin monks or kung-fu teachers who only teaches the very best of the very best like Pai Mei from Kill Bill.

He was fifty-seven when he died. Too young. Tom Petty was sixty-six, Miles Davis was sixty-five, Frank Zappa fifty-two and Michael Jackson a mere fifty. Musicians age like test pilots and underwater welders.

I often feel like musicians don’t get back nearly as much as they give out. George Harrison once said about Beatle fans “They gave their money and they gave their screams, but the Beatles gave our nervous systems. They used as an excuse to go mad, the world did, and then they blamed it on us.” People went mad. A madman killed John Lennon at the age of forty, and another madman stabbed Harrison nearly to death two years before his untimely death to cancer at age fifty-eight.

All these names I mentioned: Petty, MJ, Prince, the Beatles, Miles, Zappa. . . these are among the successful ones. Think about the ones who didn’t have a lengthy career of acclaim and success. Or the ones who dipped in and died fast. It’s been twenty-five years now since Kurt Cobain committed suicide, age 27. Seemingly with the world in front of him, dying like the world was on top of him. The peers of his era like Chris Cornell (suicide, age 52), Scott Weiland (drug overdose, age 48), Layne Staley (drug overdose, age 34), and Shannon Hoon (drug overdose, age 28). And I’m probably forgetting countless others.

We have never solved the pointlessness of drugs somehow equaling a good time and demons somehow equaling creativity and all of those things factoring in together. Even if it were to be true that drugs make you creative (they won’t) or that you have to be in some sort of emotional torment to create good art (you don’t) and that these things are the price of business (they aren’t), it’s not good for you and it’s not worth giving a pound of your flesh over to people who can’t understand the significance of it. Nor is it healthy to numb yourself to the pain of life or the pain of rejection because people don’t understand you even if they really do like you.

They can pay the cover and tell you what a good job you did but you gave your nervous system to them and it’s hard to get that back. The Butthole Surfers are all still alive and each one of them has a thousand-yard stare like they’ve done time in the ‘Nam.

Scott Walker died age 76 and you couldn’t help but be happy for the guy that he held on so long.