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In the next couple of weeks, I’ll be releasing my 12th album.

Salon de la Guerre presents “In the Lake of Feral Mermaids,” a pop album about drifters, murder, mayhem, the end of idealism and the quest for responsible retirement planning–mostly set in sumptuous Caribbean locales. A set of radio friendly tunes here, though I threw in a couple of loud rockers for old times’ sake. Cover art by my buddy Corey Sanders.

Click here for the first single:

From the adit holes come breathing

Gold dust from the mountain seething

And Indians laboring with summary pants

Hoist the gold into totemic mill stamps

And with 70 beats per minute, the cams blast.

It’s ancient Mercury whose water kisses

The narrow isthmus on its way to sea;

 

There the natives seldom see a sun

That hasn’t drunk from river San Juan

A vision eating ancient manioc

Upon the Pacific Zion where their kings

Once flocked, decked with cotton and straw

Root crops were the staple foods

Mandioca, tapioca and Mazamorra

And as this dream unfurled in dust

Like palpitant coffee in a sunlight colored rust

Mercury with shoes on backward

Buried his seed in woman-pregnant meanders

Illuminated the fish like Maundy Thursday candles

And spread the dream like straw in a totem’s ears

 

Gold and mercury marry and divorce

To be caught in black nets perforce

Spills to the ground its silver seed for reuse

And makes for Babylon pregnant dreams

Of eating manioc by the Pacific seam once more

Mercury that brings us visions

Of cassava on a fructifying shore

Under dirty gossan caps, meteoric water and large axe handles

The light of the Indian candles finds

A new and smiling seem once more.

“I did not want white nationalists in the White House. I just wanted change.”
“I did not want to register members of a religion in contravention of the First Amendment. I just wanted change.”
“I did not want to revisit the morality of Japanese internment camps. I just wanted change.”
“I did not want people to make fun of the disabled–to say it was OK for my kid to do it, or for my disabled kid to suffer it. I just wanted change.”
“I did not say it’s OK for entitled, powerful rich men to aggressively try to sleep with my wife. I just wanted change.”
“I did not think it was OK to grab women by the crotch. I just wanted change.”
“I did not want the United States to start torturing prisoners again. I just wanted change.”
“I was not for committing war crimes against the innocent bystander relatives of suspected terrorists. I just wanted change.”
“I did not want to let banks start doing the same things they were doing before the financial crisis. I just wanted change.”
“I did not think it was OK to denigrate a guy who was beaten three times a week by the North Vietnamese as some sort of loser. I just wanted change.”
“I did not want to free polluters and contribute to a global climate phenomenon that is going to affect the quality of life for my child. I just wanted change.”
“I did not want to signal to a president that it was OK for him to basically merge his business interests with his political interests by using his children as a meaningless buffer. I just wanted change.”
“I did not want the KKK to feel emboldened. I just wanted change.”
“I did not want a rude tone set for politics from the top down by a man who made political incivility his trademark. I just wanted the change.”

Congratulations. If all these things became acceptable to you, you’ve changed.

Glenn Beck recently went to CNN to ask the musical question: What are we doing to do about the resurgent racist right?

We’ll drive ourselves crazy trying to ask the question, “Is every Trump supporter racist?” The answer is no. The more important thing is that they are disengaged, unserious, incurious, did not understand the economic forces underlying their problems, and were easily distracted because of their low threshold for boredom. These qualities allowed them to be easily used by Trump, whose tactics are old and familiar to any person who’s taken one history class. And their disengagement will allow them to be used again by a small but dedicated group of ACTUAL racists to rise to levels of power not seen in this country since the 1920s. Trumpites’ unfocused anger was the problem until last week. Their inertia will be the problem now. They’ll say, “This racism talk doesn’t apply to me” without acknowledging that they unleashed and empowered white nationalists and that, if they think of themselves as good people, they are many times more obligated to call out racists in their own ranks than they realize.

A Short Play

My friend: I’m lonely.

Me: I hear you, man.

My friend: So I’m giving $500 a month to a stripper. She says she loves me.

Me: Aw, man! That’s horrible. She’s taking advantage of you, using the oldest trick in the book.

My friend: You look down at me!

The End

This, in its entirety, is my short play, “Listening to a Trump Supporter.”

–*Trump managed to cobble together a unique coalition of voters: the not bright, and the far dumber than not bright.

–*Americans with nothing to lose but low unemployment, a rising stock market and rising wages and health care coverage decided to roll the dice on a tax cut that might get them a new 16 inch television.

–*Middle-class white Americans made it loud and clear that they are tired of nobody listening to them mistakenly blame their problems on immigrants.

–*Americans are tired of the elites looking down at them … so here, elites, this tax cut should teach you a thing or two.

–*Americans in the middle class with stagnant wages are hurting. But rather than a minimum wage increase, they’d really just like permission to use the “N-word” again.

–*Everybody needs somebody to harass and victimize and look down on, and Obama had given middle class whites nobody to do that to.

–*Middle class whites are concerned about the ways skyrocketing debt is going to affect their kids. That’s why they elected a guy mostly known for putting up giant buildings with enormous debt attached to them.

–*The whole, “watch me get drunk and vote for this guy” crowd is bigger than we thought.

–*The Washington and New York government and media establishments are out of touch because they spend too much time reading and analyzing and thinking.

–*Americans don’t like political dynasties. Also they don’t like authoritarian populist regim….never mind. Americans don’t know what they like.

–* … or who they are.

–* … or what they stand for.

–*”Take that, college-educated people!”

Nov. 9, 2016

There’s a game that people like to play or scenario they like to imagine–you see it in movies–that somehow they could go back to 1932 in a time machine and stop Hitler.

Americans were just given a time machine. They went back. And they joined Hitler.

The things we do around the world–the business we do, the stocks we buy and sell, the loans we make and take, as well as the alliances we have built and sign up for–have worked according to a vast social pact, and a compromise and an understanding among peoples since the end of World War II. Those pacts were fragile. You shift one of them, you shift a lot of them. You screw up the valuation of one country’s bonds, and other countries’ bonds follow suit. You destroy faith in the Federal Reserve, it makes people lose faith in the currency.

The pacts we have made to make a society are fragile. The agreements we make with people around the world are fragile. The ways we deal with one another are fragile.

In a fit of pique, with everything to lose and very little to gain–and without even horrific conditions under which Germans lived in the 1920s–Americans in their narcissism and in the arrogance decided to tear those pacts and agreements up as if they were tissue paper.

The people who thought they were being heard finally are going to be those hurt most by this. In the immediate future, however, the most vulnerable among us–immigrants, people of color, transgender people–are going to feel personally threatened and insecure. Those immigrants are among the most productive members of our society, by the way. They are among the biggest launchers of start-up businesses. They pay taxes. They contribute to the consumer base. That’s another thing about the social pact we’ve just thrown away. We used superficial prejudices to feel better about not understanding the most profound things about our country, its economy and its culture.

You, the non-elite (for this is how you implicitly brand yourselves), have decided to get even with elites by giving them a tax break. You, the non-elite, have gotten even with the elite by giving them an overwhelming amount of power to ignore you.

And at last, you’ve been rewarded for not being curious: for ignoring history, economics, science. You had an outside force validate your know-nothingism for his own reasons. I understand. It gives you a short shot of self-esteem horribly lacking in your lives.

It will be short-lived. What’s wrong with you is going to continue to be wrong with you tomorrow. And other people will be harmed for no reason other than your wounded pride.

Good luck.