Five Signs You’re Probably Wrong

fireworks displayPost Truth Society

We live in a post truth America. Virtually all the information we get these days is suspect in some way. This blog post is no exception. I write fiction after all, so if I ever get to the truth of something, it is usually through the side door and often by accident. At least I am honest in this regard. You won’t get that accommodation from anyone else, certainly not from your president or your legislators. Continue reading

Stupifyin’ Jones and the Improbable Ascent of Donald Trump

Al Capp’s iconic Stupefyin’ Jones from Lil Abner

Writing Fiction in Post-Truth America

The soul of my creativity, such as it is, has been thoroughly stupified, and not in a good way, by the election of Donald Trump to the office of president of the United States. I’m serious. I don’t know why. I haven’t accomplished a damn thing since November 9th. Every day is the same. Walk and feed the dog. Make a delicious espresso beverage. Turn on the computer. Click on the daily news feed. There is Donald Trump’s gigantic orange visage mocking everything I believe in. Fuck me!

Trump’s election is an embarrassment to the nation I love. It’s not enough that he is an idiot, an unsophisticated lout with the diplomatic sensibilities of a skinhead and the verbal skills of a learning-disabled third grader. He is a liar to boot. In fact, he is a liar of monumental proportions in a ‘post truth’ society.

I don’t know how this happened. I’ve been reading everyone else’s idea of how it happened, and I’m convinced they don’t know either. It’s certainly not Trump’s fault. He’s an idiot. It’s not Hillary Clinton’s fault. She’s too smart to be sucked into Trump’s game. I guess you could say that no one called him out on his bullshit, but a lot of people really did, and it didn’t seem to matter. Continue reading

Book Review: Dispatches by Michael Herr

DispatchesDispatches by Michael Herr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this and two other books about the U.S. experience in Vietnam by way of research for a novel I am writing. I was looking for firsthand experience of slogging through the muck, both physical and figurative, to execute the failed strategies of our involvement. Dispatches delivers on all fronts.

War is not just hell. It is a ridiculous one fueled by its own kind of stupidity: “When the commander heard that [we were correspondents,] he wanted to throw a spontaneous operation for us, crank up his whole brigade and get some people killed. We had to get out on the next chopper to keep him from going ahead with it, amazing what some of them would do for a little ink.” Continue reading

Homeless and Unsheltered Living in Their Cars in Fairfax, VA

Mercedes Beater CarWhy is ‘Get a Job’ not a useful thing to say to a homeless person? If you don’t already know the answer, you are part of the problem.

Homeless and unsheltered folk are resourceful, and they work hard at maintaining some semblance of dignity and self reliance. If you think it’s easy, you’re mistaken. If you think not working is some kind of picnic, you are deluded.

Here’s a pretty good look at what it’s like in Fairfax County, VA – one of the wealthiest counties in the U.S.

My homeless characters in A Cup of Pending have it better than these plucky Virginians living in their cars, but my story is funny, even when it makes a point. The Washington Post article is reality. It is the point. It’s one of the points of Cuppa. It’s not very funny.

Predicting the Debate

Clinton Vs. Trump

USA Flag

A Circus Not Likely to Change Anything . . .

I made a conscious decision before I released Cuppa to abstain from political discussions while I flogged the book. I didn’t want to risk putting off any potential readers by offending their political sensibilities. It seems not to have made any difference in sales of the book, but it has made me a nervous wreck while the Trump juggernaut of ignorance and incivility gathers steam. The unthinkable prospect of an orange presidency is now upon us with most polls showing Trump and Clinton in a dead heat on the eve of the first presidential debate. Continue reading

Yosemite Trump

My Neighbor’s Truck Wants to Make America Great Again!

Trump graphic on the side of a pick-up truckThis is my neighbor’s pick-up truck. I’ve always liked the truck. He’s done it up smartly with a body kit and trick wheels. It’s a 4×4 with enough juice to pull a house off it’s foundation. It’s always clean and parked straight in his driveway. I thought, as far as pick-up trucks go, this one was cool and relatively tasteful.

Then, about two weeks ago, he showed up with this funky addition to the door panels. It’s perhaps the most ambivalent graphic I’ve ever seen. I don’t have the foggiest idea whether it’s supposed support Trump or poke fun at his flamboyant celebration of all things ignorant. It’s a lot like Trump himself. You don’t know for sure if you’re supposed to take him seriously or he’s just screwing with you, but you’re afraid to ask.

I have to think my neighbor is a Trump supporter, mostly because the truck also features three fairly large signs that say ‘Trump: Make America Great Again!’ Problem is, I’ve never actually talked to this guy, so I don’t know for sure, and, now, I’m afraid to ask.

This may not be affixed to the neighbor’s bumper, but it is a fine example of the in-your-face bumper sticker mentality that is dominating our current election cycle.