Archive for December, 2016



Inside The Museums, Infinity Goes Up On Trial

mona-lisa-crowd

Here it is, the Mona Lisa. You woke up early for this. You waited in line for almost an hour. You’re now surrounded by seventy people, all trying to catch a glimpse of it. One of them just elbowed you while taking a photograph of it. It’s behind a lot of glass. It’s not very big. What I’m trying to say is: it’s okay to feel disappointed.

River Clegg

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Mongo Bros Make America Great Again

The homeless man was lying on the ground, shaking, when police arrived. His face was soaked, apparently with urine, his nose broken, his chest and arms battered.

Police said two brothers from South Boston ambushed the 58-year-old as he slept outside of a Dorchester MBTA stop, and targeted him because he is Hispanic.

According to State Police, the Leader brothers were on their way home from a Red Sox game when they 03douthat-cs-facebookjumbofound the victim sleeping near the JFK/UMass stop on the Red Line.

He told police he was awakened by two men urinating on his face. He said they ripped away his blankets and sleeping bag, and started rummaging through his things. One of the brothers repeatedly beat the man with a metal pole.

The brothers walked away from the scene laughing, a witness told State Police.

Police said Scott Leader, 38, told them it was OK to assault the man because he was Hispanic and homeless.

“Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported,” he allegedly told the police. He said he and his brother had “tuned up’’ an “illegal immigrant’’ and that their actions were justified because the man was Hispanic and homeless.

The Leader brothers continued to urinate, bang on doors, and make anti-immigration statements in their cell after having been arrested.

Trump, told of the assault, said “I will say that people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again. They are passionate.”

So My Daughter Can Walk Around on My Face

When I was 19, I was cast as Princess Leia in Star Wars.

The mistake was I signed away my likeness for free. In those days, there was no such thing as a “likeness,” which is a funny thing to say coming from the family that I came from. There was no merchandising tied to movies. No one could have known the extent of the franchise. Not that I don’t think I’m cute or anything, but when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t think I was signing away anything of value.

Lately I feel like I’m Minnie Mouse—the identity of Princess Leia so eclipses any other identity that I’ve ever had.

As I’ve gone along, people will come to me and say, “We got the licensing from George Lucas to make these socks.” So my daughter can walk around on my face. I was shopping at Williams-Sonoma, and they’re selling little sticks of Princess Leia that you put in your cupcake. Who wouldn’t need those? I paid for it. How much money could I have made from all this stuff? I don’t want to know. It’s too upsetting. Yet funny. For example, I found out recently that I am a type of marijuana. A friend of my daughter’s actually went to one of those medical places, and she told me there was a type of marijuana named Princess Leia. I never liked marijuana, so the fact that I’m a type of marijuana is ironic.

I’ve teased George Lucas about this over the years, but he’s never been apologetic.

When you’re 19 you don’t even think about these things. I don’t know what everyone else’s excuse was. Harrison Ford was 33! He should have known better! Here’s where I’m dumb. I assume if there’s an argument to be made, Harrison would have made it, and if he made it, I would have heard about it, because we had the same deal. But Harrison hasn’t fixed his deal. So this is an ongoing mistake.

Mistakes are a drag, because you get in the area of regret and self-pity. I don’t like to linger in this zone. Obviously, drug use is a huge mistake. So I’ve made some bad choices. That’s reflected in the Princess Leia thing. I do not take it on.

Me having a tantrum in the corner for my cut of Star Wars toothpaste? I don’t want to get into it. Every so often, I wonder if Natalie Portman is getting more money than the none I’m getting. If she’s holding a check for Princess Amidala’s likeness in one hand and her Oscar in the other, that would piss me off.

Carrie Fisher

Small Blue Thing

clinton_v2-artboard_1

Chef Cooks Mongo

I’m a New Yorker, Donald Trump is a New Yorker. And the New Yorkers I know, we’ve lived with this guy for 30 years. I’ve seen Donald Trump say things one day, and then I saw what he did the next. I’ve seen up close how he does business. Just like if you lived in a small town, you’d get to know the sheriff, the guy who runs the hardware store, the guy who runs the filling station. I’m not saying I know the guy personally, not like I’d hug him, but I’m saying that as a New Yorker, we pretty much are neighbors. And my many years of living in his orbit have not left me with a favorable impression, let’s put it that way. There are so many reasons to find the guytrumpspam-0 troubling. When Scott Baio’s the only guy you can find to show up at your convention, you’re in trouble.

He has a vineyard in, is it Virginia? I think a very interesting question would be to see who’s picking his grapes. I believe I know the answer, which is why I’m asking the question.

I will never eat in his restaurant. I have utter contempt for him, utter and complete contempt. Just like David Burke—I mean, I never had the highest opinion of him in the first place, but I guess he’s the last person in this life I should look to for principles. Burke went in and took over [the space Jose Andres had originally occupied], and promptly tried to poach his staff, I hear. This was after Jose reached out and said “Everyone welcome him to Washington, don’t hold it against him, just because I decided to pull out.” So Burke’s a steaming loaf of shit, as far as I’m concerned, and feel free to quote me.

It’s not helpful, that sort of thing [opening in a Mongo hotel]. I’m not asking you to start putting up barricades now, but when they come and ask you, “Are you with us?” you do have an option. You can say “No thanks, guys. I don’t look good in a brown shirt. Makes me look a little, I don’t know, not great. It’s not slimming.”

And Trump—the man eats his steak well done. I don’t think he’s a good person. I remember the Central Park Five, and what he said. I’ve seen how he’s treated employees. I saw what he did to Atlantic City. I saw what he did to the west side of this town. It’s fuckin’ ugly. He’s going to make trumpicecreamthe whole world look like the back of Rick James’ van.

You know, it’s why they always kill the comedians and the poets first. People can’t stand ridicule. It clearly gets under Trump’s skin—he can’t bear it, it’s really a problem for him. So if you’re looking to do something, I think, you should ridicule him. Not his voters. His cabinet, for sure, and his appointees, but not all at once. Stick with him.

A lot of people are like, “I’m never watching your show again, now that you’ve moved to the Clinton News Network.” As if they’ll fall asleep for a few seconds at the end of my show, and wake up and catch a few minutes of Wolf Blitzer, and it causes some homosexual urges and a desire to join Al Qaeda.

If I can convince people to look around, and see who’s actually doing a lot of the work in this country—picking vegetables, it’s all immigrant labor—and then ask themselves, truly, whether they under any circumstances would take that job? You know, to look in the eyes of the cook who makes their eggs-over every day, and ask themselves whether they’d want to stand outside their house and be dragged away from their kids? If I can convince a few people to go to a country like Oman, which has a completely non-sectarian version of Islam, which is incredibly tolerant and super cool, or to Senegal, where they’re Sufi, they’re just as devout as anyone in the Islamic world but people who just came from Dubuque, they’d be comfortable there, they’d find trumpsausagesbeauty in it, they’d hear the call to prayer and think “Okay, there might be something here other than what I thought”? That would please me.

Twitter is proving not helpful, Facebook has been, you know. The troll army has been really interesting. They come up pretty dependably any time the Russia show airs. For a while, any seriously anti-Trump shit I posted, I would get a group of them, a fairly organized troll army, and not just eggs. That’s a new wrinkle. And that ain’t gonna go away. This is now a new, effective way to communicate.

Russia clearly is going to be a problem for me. The last time I was there, they killed my lunch partner, you know? And I’m a little pissed about that. And I’ve expressed that publicly, which is increasingly not such a wise thing to do. Russia, I personally would feel uncomfortable there at this point.

Anthony Bourdain

Mongo Law Jockeys Arrest Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Van Pelt Siblings

In a stunning pre-dawn raid, armed agents of President-elect Mongo arrested and jailed “several high-ranking members of the so-called ‘Peanuts gang,’ com-smyp Negrofied libtards who have been terrorizing this nation for more than six decades,” Confederate General Jefferson Beauregard seSSions III has announced.

Appearing before a small gaggle of reporters drawn exclusively from Fox, Breitbart, Stormfront, and Sputnik, seSSions played surveillance footage that seemed to show Charlie Brown, the ceaselessly morose round-headed child who dresses worse than even Bill Belichick, entering a Christmas-tree lot, there selecting a small tree, and then leaving the lot without paying for it.

“You see?” seSSions crowed, “He’s a thief. Open and shut.”

seSSions said that after Brown was arrested and booked, a DNA sample was extracted from the child, “which proves conclusively that—pursuant to the one-drop rule, which, come January 20, will again be the law of this land, thanks be to Jesus—this wanton tree-thieving criminal is a Negro.

“Of course,” seSSions continued, “we knew that as soon as we saw him steal the tree. Because Americans, they don’t steal trees. That’s Negroid behavior.”

seSSions next rolled surveillance tape of “the Peanuts gang” ice-skating.

“You see that dog?” rumbled seSSions. “Negroes—I mean dogs—have no business on the ice. And his outrageous assault on those children? That dog needs to be put down.”

seSSions said that DNA testing had disclosed that the dog, known as Snoopy, is, like Brown, “of the Negroid persuasion.”

Peanuts gang” member Lucy Van Pelt was arrested on charges of practicing psychiatry without a license, seSSions said, while her brother, Linus, was charged with “flagrant homoism.”

“Homoism,” seSSions explained, “is well-known as a subset of Negritude.”

seSSions then produced surveillance footage of what he described as “a Negrified dance orgy.”

“A warrant is out for the arrest of that Negroist piano-player,” seSSions announced. “We believe his name is Schroeder. We have learned that he had no proper permits for holding that Negroid dance orgy in that cramped and confined space. The whole place could easily have gone up in flames, like in that Ghost Ship fire, that cooked all those queers and coloreds.”

seSSions said the child who is the bassist in the above “dance orgy” had been taken into protective custody. “He is known only as ‘Pigpen,'” seSSions explained, “and his parents have allowed him to live in conditions of such squalor and filth that the State has taken possession of him for his own safety and well-being.”

seSSions said “Pigpen” had been given a new name—Steve Bannon—and added that “once the poor boy is cleaned up, he will be immediately enlisted in the Marines, so he can learn how to hunt Negroes, grease Muslims, and shoot Mexicans in the desert. He’s gonna be an American.”

seSSions next happily shared with those assembled some pictures of his slaves.

Asked why he was referring to himself as “Confederate General,” rather than “Attorney General,” seSSions explained that “Mongo has changed the title from ‘Attorney General,’ to ‘Confederate General,’ in order to help heal the country’s divisions.”

seSSions then played for the reporters what he described as the “new anthem” of his department. Which is rendered, in a somewhat different form, below.

It Is Accomplished

“I would like to go to the Lion’s Gate,” Raziel told him.

The Romanian volubly refused. When Raziel realized that his driver’s mind was not about to be changed, he got out of the taxi and set out on foot for the Old City.

Approaching the end of the Via Dolorosa, almost at the Lions’ Gate, above the shouting he heard a voice he knew. It was the voice of Adam De Kuff speaking from the upper quadrant of his interior universe, strong, unafraid, joyful, thoroughly delusional. Raziel shouldered his way through the ranks until he saw the man himself.

He wore what looked like an army jacket that fitted him so badly its cuffs stopped a little past his elbows. He had hugely baggy army trousers and untied muddy boots whose laces coiled around his ankles and twisted underfoot as he shuffled passionately from one end of the bench to the other like a dancing bear. There was a kippa on his head and a white scarf tied around his forehead like a turban and he crooned at the top of his voice.

Raziel kept trying to force his way closer to the old man. He had the notion of taking him away from there, before the thing failed utterly, before all spells and mercies were suspended, before whatever grace that had touched their pilgrimage was withdrawn and the violence and raw holiness of the place overwhelmed everyone.

De Kuff himself understood only that he was in the place he knew and loved best, the scene of his successes, the ancient Serapion and Pool of Israel. All that day he had been trying to reach the souls within himself as they weaved in and out of his consciousness. He had begun to think that everything he had ever believed about soul and mind was wrong. There was no way to exercise control.

But there at the Fountain, his souls were manifest and his heart was full, and in the completeness of his joy he had no choice but to tell about it. It was necessary to tell everyone, anyone, no matter how distressed or distracted they might be by politics or by the illusion of separateness and exile that burdened everyone. He felt elected and protected by God, ready to support the Ark in the holiest of places. He used the metaphors that were employed in this city, although, in a way, it might have been anywhere.

“Call me as you like,” he explained to the angry crowd. “I am the twelfth imam. I am the Bab al-Ulema. I am Jesus, Yeshi, Issa. I am the Mahdi. I am Moshiach. I have come to restore the world. I am all of you. I am no one.”

There were screams of terrible passion. “Perish he! Death!”

People began to throw stones.

“Death to the blasphemer!”

De Kuff opened his arms to them. For a moment those who were advancing on him stopped. Raziel, shouting, shoving, tried to get through.

“You don’t have to listen,” Raziel said to the crowd. “It’s all over. Rev,” he shouted to De Kuff, “it’s all over! Another time, man. Another soul. Another street.”

The men who were taking hold of De Kuff, pulling him down as he tottered on his bench, also laid hands on Raziel.

“Another day!” Raziel told them. “Another mountain!”

“I tell you, ” De Kuff informed them in his restrained Louisiana drawl. “That all was once One and will be and has always remained so. That God is One. And faith in Him is One. And all belief is One. And all believers in Him, regardless of sect, are One. Only the human heart divides. So it is written.

“See? Do you see?” De Kuff asked the men who were pulling him down. “Everyone’s waiting. And the separateness of things is false.”

He went on declaiming, using the images, the reversals, the metaphors everyone knew, expounding the souls, raising their voices, until the great holiness turned to fire and he lost consciousness.

—Robert Stone, Damascus Gate


When I Worked

December 2016
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