“Social media is training us to compare our lives, instead of appreciating everything we are. No wonder why everyone is always depressed.”
“If Trump is right — and he is so smart that he must be — then this could mean Americans wanted exactly what they are getting right now: a president who burns alliances, insults allies, sides with Putin over the American government, ignores Russia’s abuses and bashes the free press across Europe.
If so, if we Americans really did want this, Trump has proved his point about our intelligence.
As a wise man once said: Stupid is as stupid does.”
“If you pluck the chicken one feather at a time no one will notice.”
It’s Monday afternoon, July 16th. I’m working in my art studio trying to make progress on a new series of paintings. President Chump just completed his astonishingly disgraceful press conference with Vladimir Putin and I have decided I needed to immediately post about the subject.
As an artist, I am motivated and influenced by contemporary culture and our beliefs and relationships (and that includes politics). Therefore, the news, good or bad, can be inspirational. Unfortunately, this has become more difficult for me during the Donald Trump administration. This is true for a variety of reasons. It’s probably attrition more than anything, Trump is so fucking exhausting. That’s why I’m headed out for a walk after I complete this post. I need to reclaim a little of the energy sucked away from me by thinking about Captain Douchebag.
Because it just happened, I know this blogpost is more of a reaction than a response. Regardless, you can mark my words, this moment is a turning point. It will go down as one of the most embarrassing moments in our history. President Chump was tougher on the Democrats and the intelligence community in this press conference than he was on the Russians. It’s hard to put into words what we saw today. I’m wondering if we finally, finally, finally reached the beginning of the end.
John McCain, as we all know is living his final days. He had a lot to say about today. I disagree with McCain more than half of the time, so I do not automatically support anything he says. However, here he perfectly crystallizes the embarrassment happening right before our eyes. His words from today will be remembered and quoted for many, many years to come:
– – – – –
“Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake.
“President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world.
“It is tempting to describe the press conference as a pathetic rout – as an illustration of the perils of under-preparation and inexperience. But these were not the errant tweets of a novice politician. These were the deliberate choices of a president who seems determined to realize his delusions of a warm relationship with Putin’s regime without any regard for the true nature of his rule, his violent disregard for the sovereignty of his neighbors, his complicity in the slaughter of the Syrian people, his violation of international treaties, and his assault on democratic institutions throughout the world.
“Coming close on the heels of President Trump’s bombastic and erratic conduct towards our closest friends and allies in Brussels and Britain, today’s press conference marks a recent low point in the history of the American Presidency. That the president was attended in Helsinki by a team of competent and patriotic advisors makes his blunders and capitulations all the more painful and inexplicable.
“No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are—a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad. American presidents must be the champions of that cause if it is to succeed. Americans are waiting and hoping for President Trump to embrace that sacred responsibility. One can only hope they are not waiting totally in vain.”
“Snowflakes is a word used by sociopaths in an attempt to discredit the notion of empathy.”
“The President of the United States trusts the word of a former KGB agent over the consensus of the American intelligence community backed by a ton of facts. That is a shocking reality. Everyone who excuses Trump’s behavior must answer that now, and when history inevitably judges.”
“When Trump was elected, there were three parties in Washington: the Trump party, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. The Republican Party had every chance to put a check on his vile personal conduct, his administration’s outlandish corruption, his fetishizing and affinity for autocrats around the world and his undermining of the western alliance.”
“We’re in heavy times, with a global rise in authoritarian regimes; I often feel like I’m choking on my own dread of what may come.”
“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.”
“The British people can face any misfortune with fortitude and buoyancy as long as they are convinced that those who are in charge of their affairs are not deceiving them, or not themselves dwelling in a fool’s paradise.”
“I seem to have a licence to be naughty. Graham Chapman gave it to me and it’s still valid. In fact the older I get, the more valid it becomes because the self-righteous need my help, in their struggle for self awareness.”
“For my own part. I wish the bald eagle had not been chosen the representative of our country. He is a bird of bad moral character. He does not get his living honestly…besides he is a rank coward. The little king bird, not bigger than a sparrow attacks him boldly and drives him out of the district.”
Mark your calendars!!!
“There’s no retirement for an artist, it’s your way of living so there’s no end to it.”
“It is not light that we need, but fire. It is not the gentle shower, but thunder.”
“There are dark shadows on the earth, but its lights are stronger in the contrast.”
“A calm and humble life will bring more happiness than the pursuit of success and the constant restlessness that comes with it.”
“For once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been, and there you will long to return.”
“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”
“We use that flag to sell mattresses and beer. We wear it as a swimsuit. We wrap our bald head in a bandana and stick it in our pants because we disrespect that flag everyday.”
These words from Dale Hansen (sportscaster and Vietnam veteran) echo the thought I’ve had for years on the subject of the American flag. The flag is not meant to be a product or a prop. That’s why I don’t wear anything meant to appropriate the American flag (that’s also why I don’t wear anything that appropriates military camouflage).
All this noise about kneeling or standing in the NFL is just the by product of another prop for a product. The teams were in the locker rooms during the anthem until eight years ago. In 2009, the NFL brought the players out for the anthem basically to be a prop for their product. It was a marketing strategy made in order to make the players (and the league) look more patriotic. The Department of Defense and the National Guard also payed the NFL for permission to stage on-field patriotic ceremonies to increase military recruitment.
Don’t be played by the sideshow. The first amendment IS first for a reason. Live and let kneel.