"It's really a very simple story. What happened was this: I met this girl and did a very stupid thing. I fell in love. Hard. I know that to some people that makes me an idiot and a loser. What can I say? They're right. I did some extremely foolish things; I'm the first to say it. And they've left me in jail and alone."
So begins one of the most compelling, emotionally charged, and affecting novels you are likely to read this year.
It’s hard to concentrate on anything besides what Trump and the Republicans are doing and saying:
*Tax “reform” that’s a giveaway to their rich corporate and individual donor/owners and will bust a huge hole in the deficit, which will only be closable by enormous cuts in entitlement programs (effectively ending the New Deal, a long-sought, right-wing wet dream). As economic adviser Gary Cohn said, “The most excited group out there are big CEOs, about our tax plan.” Duh.
*Trump bumbling around the world, dancing with dictators and sucking up to Putin while he calls long-time American public servants “hacks”
*The ex-Eli Lilly executive/Big Pharma lobbyist – Alex Azar -- who has just been raised from the Swamp to be new Health and Human Services secretary
*Roy Moore, the pedophile GOP candidate from Alabama, the one who’s really, really Christian
*Trump packing the courts with highly unqualified, young right-wing ideologues (and McConnell jamming them through)
*Trumpworld in suspense, waiting for the next indictment: Michael Flynn or his son? … Jared or Donald Jr.?
As Stephen Sondheim said in a different context, “Every day, a little death.”
There was some hope on Election Day: good results in Virginia, New Jersey, and in pockets all across the country. But let’s see what happens in 2018. The Democrats will be fighting a lot of money, gerrymandering, and a lot of voter suppression. And we don’t know what Russia, Trump’s ally, has planned for us.
It’s hard to stay positive, and yet what choice have we? I focus on my little life: working on this draft of WHEN I GOT OUT and taking care of my family, especially my exquisite grandson Calder.
And I try to take courage from the fighting words of others:
“I believe that we are lost here in America, but I believe we shall be found.” – Thomas Wolfe, YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN
“Of all the varieties of virtues, liberalism is the most beloved.” -- Aristotle
“Most of the things worth doing in the world have been declared impossible before they were done.” – Louis Brandeis
“That which the fascists hate, above all else, is intelligence.” – Miguel de Unamuno
“I believe that all men, black, brown, and white, are brothers.” – W.E.B. DuBois
“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” – Samuel Johnson
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.” – George Orwell
“My experience has been that the people who talk the loudest about morality are the people who possess the least amount of it.” – James Carville
“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy, that is, the search for a superior justification for selfishness.” – John Kenneth Galbraith
“What the people want is very simple. They want an America as good as its promise.” – Barbara Jordan
Watch my award-winning short film Lunch With Louie
everyday THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, and THE WALL STREET JOURNAL ... a nice long biography of ELIZABETH I ... the new New Yorker and the new New York Review of Books
Deezer! ...Howard Stern and Thom Hartmann always... lots of COSI, lots of KEITH JARRETT ... ... too much Pandora (lots of Chopin) ... and tons of Van the Man ... and Sturgill Simpsonand Emmylou Harris and Gillian Welch!
As much news as I can stomach ... Rick Steves' Europe and SEINFELD(comfort watching) ... Turner Classic Movies... and the struggles of the Lakers and Clippers