Jun 18

“King Me.”

That caption to Time magazine’s cover this week is stenciled across the back of an imperious, dark-suited President Trump engaged in mirrored self-regard, crowned, adorned as emperor.

The regal robes fit him like a glove, of course.  He’s spent his entire life striving for supremacy, governed by a turbulent mix of braggadocio and truculence, driven by unquenchable thirst for wealth, power, fame, and influence.

That such a man should find his way to the very pinnacle of power, that his mighty surname should portend his destiny, remains no less astounding today than it was on election day.  But that such a man, finding himself thus validated, should go on to conduct himself as unassailable tempestuous monarch is no surprise at all.

What's in a name?”  exclaimed Juliet in her long-ago lament to Romeo.  “That which we call a rose, by any other word would smell as sweet.”  Maybe so. But had young Donald had been forced to play the Drumpf card his ancestors were originally dealt I doubt he’d be counting the same winnings.  “Drumpf Tower” conjures up images of tenement slums and ramshackle skid-row hotels rather than gleaming skyscrapers of glass and steel.

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Jun 18

I’ve been keeping my head down a bit, lately.

My recent essay on guns and dead kids, cheerfully captioned Make America Grieve Again, wasn’t likely to generate much in the way of warm and fuzzies, I suppose.  I’ve taken a few shots since I blasted that dark bit of satire onto my blog.  Two shots, to be precise.  Which represents two-thirds of my usual audience - the other third being moi.

Since it’s been rather nice to have a following, no matter how tiny, after decades of muttering only to myself, I thought it best to raise my head carefully above the parapet to respond to my critics.  Maybe they’ll (please) come back.

“You should mind your own damn business,” was the gist of volley number one, courtesy of my lone American reader. (I took a stab at reproducing his comments verbatim but my keyboard caught fire in protest.)

Fair enough, I say.  My talents are few, and minding my own business isn’t one of them.  But I certainly didn’t mean, by any stretch, to suggest that he and his countrymen are nought but a gang of murderous nutcases, or that every street corner in the U.S. is bristling with weapons.  I know perfectly well that’s not true – I lived peaceably and pleasantly in America for years.  That piece I wrote was satire, people.

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Jun 18

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,

it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,

it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,

it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness,

it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,

we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,

we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.

That epic specimen of run-on sentence, opening salvo to Charles Dickens’ mid-nineteenth century A Tale of Two Cities, would fit perfectly as plagiarized lead-in to a present-day Tale of Two Pipelines, so polarized have been the reactions to Justin Trudeau’s eleventh-hour salvage of the Trans Mountain pipeline.  But fiction it isn’t - Dickens himself would have struggled to imagine this glorious mess.

The prime minister, flanked by his minions, rode to the rescue like a knight in shining armour, resuscitating the gasping project by buying the entire troubled venture, lock, stock, and barrel, from the weary company that threatened to abandon it.  That he bought it with four and a half billion bucks of our money, with another seven or eight billion loonies to follow, needs hardly be said – proudly or not, each tax-paying Canadian now owns roughly 30 cm of ageing pipeline between Alberta and the left coast.

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