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Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

"Some men are intimidated by strong women." This has been a glib, empty, un-self- aware dose of pabulum on the left for at least the last thirty years. A moment's reflection reveals its nonsensical nature. A moment's reflection is something frowned upon on the left, unless it's reflection of an acceptable dogma or bland agreement. Yes, strong people intimidate weaker people. But you're not being woke or clever or anything remotely laudable by pointing it out. Capitalism exacerbates that dynamic, incidentally. Your strength is both increased and rendered more intimidating by capitalism. Consider that, if you can.

Yes, I'm intimidated by strong women. Why shouldn't I be? Like strong men, they can reject me socially, hurt me physically, humiliate me, or merely exert power over me to my detriment. I'm supposed to feel ashamed of being intimidated? Blow me. I've got enough negative feelings just being intimidated, I'm not going to judge myself for it. Especially not by your criteria.

Yes, I've intimidated others, and I'm not proud of it. There are ways to defuse the intimidation dynamic, if you want to, if it's important to you, but it takes work, and some humility on your part. You have to be secure in yourself. And yet humble at the same time. That's the burden of the strong. That's how you see beyond your privilege.

Don't worry, I'm not very good at it either.

This is the duty, in my opinion, of everyone with privilege, whether white, male, rich, beautiful, or otherwise gifted, exalted, or accomplished. The people who understand this are incredible, you know them when they reach out from their strengths and lift you up simply through the act of reaching. Not everyone has the ability, and even fewer want to have it. It's a singular strength, the ability to be humble and open about one's strengths, because we live in a culture that rewards bullying and egoism and not caring. Winning. We're all about winning, and we have a very narrow definition of victory.

But in some ways, that's the kind of animals we are. We jockey for prestige, we cultivate the best people as friends, we learn the tricks of making ourselves useful and helpful, or trusted, or admired, or highly regarded. And if we fail at these things, we lose. We become poor or lonely. In short, as a species, we are cliquish a-holes.

We also congratulate ourselves on not being the types that are self-satisfied or hypocritical. We fool ourselves into believing that we are noble or correct or smart or kind. Not to say there aren't some of us who actually are noble or correct or smart or kind. Most people are at least one of those things at several points in their lives.

But winning or being loved is relative. It's easy to misinterpret one's position in relation to others. Interpretation is key. It's not everything, but it's key. If you feel you've failed, you have indeed failed. If you feel you've succeeded, you have indeed succeeded. Who can tell you you're wrong? Oh, there are some easy gauges of success and failure, winning and losing, like if you're trying to take over Europe and your armies are crushed in a shattering blitzkrieg. Or if you are in a contest and fail to win, but even then it's possible to interpret a loss as a win, as when a dishonorable society fails to acknowledge your worth. Sure, it's cool to win, but isn't it nobler to lose when the criteria are so ill conceived, and the judges so corrupt?

And people can manipulate your feelings, make you feel you're winning when you're losing, or losing when you're winning. "No one can make you feel bad about yourself," the pseudo-enlightened like to say, but that is false. Some people are masters at making others feel one way or another. I'd like to add, they're the real losers, but that's just my interpretation.

It's fun when the mighty are brought low, but it wouldn't be any fun if intimidation, strength, fear and despair weren't on some level real. Physical wounds are real. Poverty is real. Deprivation is real. Death is real. It's fun to say, the true measure of strength is not how many are weaker than you, but how many you make stronger. But that's a load of crap, isn't it? We're not God. Can God make a person so strong that such a person could destroy God? No, God's not strong or weak enough to do that, but humans can reach out to the weak, make them strong, and then be destroyed by them.

The fact is, I'm afraid of everything all the time, I've lost, I'm a fool, and I've squandered what gifts I ever possessed. It's terrible. And yet, because I can emotionally rise above my obviously crushed and humiliated condition, I win. And if I can convey my winning state convincingly enough to you, you who lord it over me, well then, I can make you lose.

We are abhorrent creations of a cruel, uncaring universe. Our resting state is discomfort. Our resting face is bitch. We are born to strive for satisfaction, but never to be satisfied for long. Ridiculous. And yet we are so good at failing to be satisfied, and leaping for further satisfaction, like salmon leaping against the current to spawn, that we succeed at being that which we are created to be. We can't really fail at that, can we? I hope you're happy, universe, you have created us only to destroy us. What kind of loser does something like that? And as a habit, yet. It's enough to make your head explode.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!

Dec 15 2018
Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

You all remember Leonard Cohen? He was alive not long ago. He wrote many songs including "Hallelujah," which has been covered by many singers, including, most famously, the tragically late Jeff Buckley.

Leonard sings about a secret chord that David played and it pleased the Lord. I've always wondered why it was secret and not sacred. "I've heard there was a sacred chord." Even sung that way, it still sounds like a secret, so you don't lose that concept. "I've heard there was this chord." Oh, it's a rumor? A secret? Illicit or elusive knowledge?

And what kind of secret is it, anyway? "It starts like this, the fourth the fifth the minor fall the major lift..." What kind of secret is that? He knows every interval in this chord he's only heard about and it's a secret? How does he know every interval in the secret chord? A chord a baffled king used at least 3000 years ago? Well, he's a kabbalist, we know that about Leonard Cohen. He got the knowledge somehow.

Ancient Jewish secret, huh?

"The baffled king composing Hallelujah." David, like Leonard, was a songwriter. Why baffled? Well, I've heard there's a secret doctrine, a pretty damn sacred secret doctrine about King David being insane.

Baffled king, mad king, the cosmos and the lord filled him. He was full of the lord. And he was insane with his love of God and his openness in song to God.

David, in his madness and love, decided he needed to sin in order to help God have a relationship of sin and redemption with him. Because he was too perfect a servant of God, he was too open to God, he was too full of God like as if to become one unto God!

David was too good. God couldn't handle it. And so David resolved to debase himself with sin, and take Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and bed her in a sinful bed. So he could sin in the eyes God, and by penance be redeemed by God. God likes that. It makes him feel useful.

Talk about creating drama. But that's the kind of relationship they had. God and David. Symbiotically dysfunctional. David's 23d Psalm, you'll remember it if I start, A song of David: The lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, he maketh me etc etc, blah blah blah green pastures, blah blah blah still waters, blah blah blah valley of the shadow of death, blah blah blah fear no evil, rod and staff, set a table, anoint with oil, ah, "My cup runneth over." That's the King James translation.

But as they will, scholars went back to the original to double check the King James version, which it turns out is full, full of errors.

The original ancient Hebrew is: My cup is full. Not running over. Not overflowing. Full. It's sufficient. It's enough. Dayenu, it's enough. Enough already! Stop! When! Stop pouring, you're getting it all over the tablecloth!

It's a good line, my cup runneth over. It's especially good when used as sarcasm. "Cratchett, I'm giving you an eight pence Christmas bonus, what do you think of that?" "Oh, Mr. Scrooge, my cup runneth over."

But it's just wrong. "My cup is full." I am satisfied.

I'm trying to remember, in my own life, to be grateful these days. It's something I must constantly remind myself. Because I was raised to complain about everything. Look around, remember where you are, all the advantages, your cup is full. That said, I'm hosting my brother and his son, who are coming to stay a couple of nights, and I have beds for them, and sheets and pillowcases, but I don't have blankets. Or a kitchen table.

But the blankets, if anyone can spare a couple of warm blankets for 2 nights next week, because I'm literally broke, please hit me up, if I had those my cup would be full.

But my cup is full. I am full. Full of shit! King David was full of shit. The rabbis who came up with their meshuggeneh midrash about meshuggeneh King David? Full of shit. God is full of shit. Leonard Cohen and his not particularly secret chord? Full of shit.

It is important to acknowledge when you are in a state of fullness. Knowing you are full of shit keeps you humble. Knowing you are full of grace makes you available to work for others, for positive change. Knowing your cup is full keeps you from acting from fear and resentment, like the president. Who is the most empty person alive. He's a void. And nature abhors a vacuum, and no one is more abhorred by nature than our president, he's like a black hole, this is why he's turning the nation to shit, because he wants to be full of it. But he will never be full. Because he is too great a hole.

Now, if we can fill ourselves with the fullnesses, and know them, we can aim our self- destructive civilization on a positive trajectory, so that maybe, we will redeem ourselves and our works, in the fullness of time.

Amen. This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

A hundred and one Welbutrins. That's how many I have today. And here is why:

I get my depression meds from Canada. I order them as I need them. When one batch of 90 pills is three weeks from running out, which is three month's worth of pills, I order another batch. Sometimes I order the generics made in India. You get a hundred of those, whereas with the Canadian ones you only get 90. The problem with the Indian ones is that they come in foil blister packs, which is wasteful. But I forget that they come that way. If I remembered I wouldn't order the Indian generics. I don't like wasteful packaging.

Last time I placed my order, some events conspired to delay the delivery of my pills. The Canadian pharmacy called me to say that they no longer accepted payment by Visa card. The problem was, I'd missed the voicemail they'd sent me, and only stumbled upon it two days after they'd left it. Then it took a few days for me to figure out how to pay them by voided check sent by email, because the only card I have is a Visa debit card. The first person I talked to about it actually gave me the wrong information, and it sounded so wrong to me that I spent a couple days fretting over it in my mentally-ill fashion before calling back and straightening it out.

What I had attempted to do when I first ordered was give them plenty of time to send the pills before I left for Chicago for a week. Because I would need the pills in Chicago. I was going to be performing, and it was essential that I be in as fit a mental state as psychopharmacologically possible. What I had to do two weeks before leaving for Chicago, because of this delay created by their no longer taking payment by Visa and my missing the message and then my neurotic stalling over the situation, was to only take a pill every other day. The way older people cut their pills in half to save money, except instead halving the number of pills I took each day, I doubled the number of days per which I took each pill. I said "per which," yes. It's a grammatical figure I've just invented.

What happens when I stop taking Welbutrin is, first, I feel a weird sensation of squishiness when turning my head, as if my head were passing through a squishy volume of spacetime. As if spacetime were pudding, sandy pudding made of broadcast static, and the movie I'm in is missing a few frames that have been eaten by this static. It's a disturbing feeling.

If I go off Welbutrin completely, I have severe depression, panics, and meltdowns. I stop eating. I can barely hold it together.

So I doubled the number of days per which I took each pill prior to the Chicago trip, so that, during the Chicago trip, I would have enough to take one every day. I prepped like that for two weeks. But, maybe because weeks have 7 days and 7 is an odd number, or maybe because I unconsciously hoarded more pills than I would need, or maybe I just can't count, or didn't bother to count, at any rate, I returned to LA from Chicago with one pill left over.

And when I got home, there waiting for me were one hundred Indian generic Welbutrins. Added to the one extra of those I'd hoarded for the trip, and you have a hundred and one Welbutrins.

And so, all was well, or so I thought.

You see, for some reason, Cruella DeVille wanted to make a coat out of my Welbutrins. It was an impractical idea, but she was obsessed. Really weird. So my Welbutrins and I had to run away from her. She chased us in a Rolls Royce that matched her hair. And there were hijinx.

There is something pure and good about Welbutrin, or bupropion hydrochloride. Something that keeps me perceiving the world and processing information in a way that prevents me from losing my place in society. I suffered for this place in society. It's not a spectacular place, but it is an advantageous place, considering where some people end up. The story of Cruella DeVille and the hundred and one Welbutrins is heartbreaking. How can someone be so greedy and selfish and obsessed as to recklessly seek to take from me what I need to make my life go relatively smoothly? Eh?

And yet it's the age-old story. Some obsessive, self-centered turd of person just wants what they want and damn the rest. Damn the rest of society, damn the future. If only she knew what my Welbutrins meant to me, she'd see the error of her ways, it's tempting to think. But that's not how people like that operate. They don't have empathy. People without empathy are a big problem. People like Jack the Ripper and Ayn Rand and Donald Dump.

Strange, these empathy-less people are clearly insane, yet I'm the one taking the meds, desperately clinging to my place in society, while their insanity has somehow secured them their overblown position in the social matrix, a position from which they seek to impose their intrusive, awful will on others at every opportunity. What makes their will and desires more effective than mine? Are they better than my will and desires? They're more ambitious than mine, that's for sure. I had no idea how important asserting my will was going to be, back when I was a child. Now that I've learned, it's probably too late to put this knowledge to use.

Civilization is making the world unfit for civilization and other living things. But as civilization destroys itself, I will have hope, for at least one hundred and one more days.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!

Posted by Alexander Jerri

"What have we become?" I keep seeing people post this, in reaction to the shootings at the Chicago hospital and the Colorado thing, whatever it was, and the bar in Sherman Oaks. A school again? A movie theater again? A concert? A picnic? A church? A fish fry? We have not become anything new. The only change is who does what brutal, sickening thing to which innocent people, I regret to opine. How often, and how near. Maybe we've become less lucky. I sincerely do regret to opine thus. And I'm open to dissuasion.

Steven Pinker, who is a popular author, and a few other things, believes we're less violent these days. He believes we've made progress as a species. It's an opinion, and he defends it well, although very often, according to historians I've heard comment on his work, he deceives himself.

I know I don't have to convince any imbibers of This Is Hell that all that's really happened is a reshuffling and a miscounting. People lived as victims of brutal violence back in the Hellenic days, and they do now. People were slaves back in the reign of Hammurabi, and they still are today. Women and children and subjugated men were raped in China and Samarkand, at either end of the Silk Road, from its opening onward, and conditions are only cosmetically different in our own time. And that's not even to mention the animals. But "better to be an uptown dog than a downtown Jew" was a saying back in the rich and colorful days of the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Why would things be any different? What would have caused this putative ebb of human cruelty? The Enlightenment? The internet? "I Love Lucy"? The Magna Carta? The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights? The Geneva Conventions? "Imagine" by John Lennon? The Statue of Liberty? Star Trek? What do we have more of now than before? Technology? Detergent? High fructose corn syrup? Pollution?

We try. We try so hard. We have ideals. We exalt the best of human nature, and castigate what is base. And you know what? It was ever so. There has never been a time when kindness wasn't considered a virtue. There was never a time when hypocrisy, betrayal, and malicious behavior weren't frowned upon. Even back in ignorant times, ignorance was a human foible. We've always known the right and good thing to do.

But there has also never been a time when ignorance wasn't considered a virtue, a kind of pure state, blessed by the grace of heaven. There's never been a time when authorities didn't recommend giving an uppity servant a swift kick in the kidney to remind them of their place, and likewise with children and women. There's always been a sizable faction of people who believe extending kindness to strangers is foolish. There have always been xenophobic mobs and smug, stupid despots, and an intelligent, benevolent despot is a despot all the same.

We've never come to a consensus on the virtues. We've just forced those who disagree into superficial obsequiousness while pushing their more substantial beliefs into the shadows for a while.

We do have a social ideal, laid out in the universal declaration of human rights, various treaties and such. Nowhere is the right to exterminate an irritating population enshrined. Nowhere is the right to enslave enshrined, or the right to deprive, or the right to degrade, persecute, torture, exploit, or abuse. That there's usually a sizable portion of any given population or government that would like those rights enshrined just shows how right has triumphed over might, at least in the ideals we pay lip service to.

But I really don't think even billionaires have a choice. I think they're forced to fall short of ideal behavior by a language that enshrouds us like a gas, that's in our bloodstreams. I was watching on YouTube a conversation hosted by urbane impresario Paul Holdengraber at the New York Public Library between Yannis Varoufakis and Noam Chomsky, in which Varoufakis talked a lot about dealing with the muckety-mucks at the at the Eurozone conference. Varoufakis was at the time the finance minister of the Greek government, and went there to negotiate a restructuring of Greece's debt. And in the end he was given an ultimatum to agree to a plan for Greece to take on even more debt, a plan that would actually make Greek citizens' lives substantially worse. I remember when these events were playing out, and I couldn't understand how such a deal could be broached. And in talking with the muckety-mucks, Varoufakis asked if they couldn't see what a bad idea this deal they were trying to force him to make was. And they said, yes, they understood. But they had become part of this institution and that was what the institution did. They had "invested too much political capital," as one muck put it, too much to change course now.

You would think a person with courage could stand up and do a reasonable thing. But apparently, one doesn't gain a position as a muckety-muck in the Eurozone Finance establishment by having courage, or breaking with accepted wisdom, no matter how foolish such wisdom is on its face. The structures create the choices such elite people make. The same way society prepares the crime, which the criminal then commits, the financial system creates the illogic and stupidity which then the finance guardians enact. Of course it serves the purposes of those in power, but they are trapped. There is no way for them to decide otherwise. They are programmed by their place in the absurd system. The system tells them they would be considered foolish to behave any other way than selfishly, and they fear being considered fools, or considering themselves fools.

What have we become? We have become what the system we've acquiesced to wanted us to become. We don't know how to design a system that doesn't use violence to control dissident speech, because the system can't assimilate such a design. Sure, if you began designing a social system in a vacuum, you might have a chance to ingrain in it some curbs on irrationally excessive accumulation and exercise of power and wealth, but no society is created in a vacuum. The language we're already immersed in is too well-established and rigid.

Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said, "the arc of history is long but it bends toward justice." I can only assume that he spoke from his faith, because there was and is no evidence that this is so. The arc of history doesn't have to bend any particular way. Maybe our lofty ideals, enshrined in the idealist language of a collective body of nations, will shame the arc of history toward bending towards justice. Or maybe instead those who find unity and compassion dangerous and repulsive will have their way, and the manifestations of our lofty ideals will be burned down.

En masse we are just a big herd of clamoring apes, as liable to get to the watering hole and share its sustenance as to begin beating each other with clubs until a large percentage of us has died. As liable, or perhaps more so, to destroy the world, as to take the drastic measures necessary to save it. What have we become? Nothing that we weren't already.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

Among the trees swarm at least 122 distinctly different species of bat, each unique to the Red Forest on the Fat Island of Langostan, in the Middle Seasoning A Capellago. Hardly anyone ever goes there other than bat enthusiasts, professional and amateur, because of the great confusion. But no bat has yet been denied into one or another official taxonomic slot, so it's unclear what is so bewildering. Maybe it's the sheer number of species in so limited a space, no one knows how limited. In any case, the climate is both tropical and sub-tropical, and extremely humid.

Two main genera of bats comprise the numerous species, all but two (of those two exceptions later). These two grand groups are the bug-eaters, which echo-locate, and the fruit-eaters, which do not. The bug-eaters tend to be smaller than the fruit-eaters. Bug- eaters have been known to eat birds on occasion. Particularly vulnerable to predation is the typeface hummingbird, which is the size and shape of an 18-point Times New Roman comma, and the smallest hummingbird known. They only exist in the Red Forest. Happily, they are a prolific species, and swarm in their thousands among the apricot shrubs like minnows amidst seaweed.

Among the bug-eaters are the orchid-nosed bat, the bee bat, the tissue bat, and the glass- eared bat. Each species echo-locates at a unique frequency, in one of the musical modes, frequently Mixolydian.

The fruit-eating bats, or dog-faced bats, seem to be descended from the early wild gliding foxes of Pan-Asia, however they are no relation, except in the very distant sense that all mammals are. As stated above, these bats are neither able nor inclined to echo-locate. They just look around with their eyes. As they are nocturnal, they often bump into things.

While the bug-eaters range in size from that of a bumble-bee to that of a robin, the fruit- eaters are much larger, the largest, the schnauzer dragon, known to possess a wingspan of upwards of eight feet.

The indigo umbrella monkey is of more manageable proportions, meaning it can be fit conveniently into an overnight train case, although one should expect it to be displeased with the experience. The indigo umbrella is one of the above-mentioned species falling neither into one major genera nor the other. It eats both insects and fruit, as well as birds, roots, tree bark, fungi, cheese, small prey animals, snakes, snake eggs, cake, buns, onion rings, flower nectar, and carrion.

I have just remembered one supremely annoying aspect of traveling to any of the Islands of Langostan, or anywhere in the Middle Seasoning A Capellago: the in-flight service on the regional Barcola Airlines. Never is anything given gratis aboard an intra-coastal flight on this airline. Everything, from ear buds to ice, is for purchase only, and the flight attendants take frequent strolls up and down the strangely wide aisles calling out, "hot dogs, food for sale, pretzels, salt cod, milk, prawns, pig tails, peas, king fish, purple yam mush," and "hay cerveza coca cola limonada naranjada agua fresca." The prices aren't unreasonable, but on returning to the civilized world of normal things, like complimentary ice, one has the unpleasant feeling of having been nickel-and-dimed at every opportunity.

As the reader or listener has probably surmised, the umbrella monkeys are a sub-category of fruit-eaters, the indigo one being only ambivalently positioned among that crowd due to its freakish dietary habits. The umbrella monkeys are so-called because of their baboon-like faces, the umbrella-like curvature of their wing-support fingerbone structure, and their propensity to climb in the upper branches of trees.

Interestingly enough, among the umbrella monkeys, or climbing umbrellas, or umbrella spiders, or simply umbrellas, is found another exception to the fruit-eater vs. bug-eater bifurcation: the yellow umbrella, alluded to in the Grouse Family novelty song, "Yella Umbrella."

"Hey, fella
Your yella umbrella
Yella umbrella has nevuh looked swella Wella wella
A yella umbrella
Dote dote dody-o dote"

The yellow umbrella is the color of a very yellow yellow Labrador retriever, and its shorthaired face looks quite like a miniature version of the canid's visage, though its torso resembles more a plump angora rabbit-like thing, except when swimming, hunting its favorite food, fish, as well as river polyps, with its wings clutched to its sides, at which time it looks like a blonde tailless dogfaced river otter with a spidery external ribcage webbed with yellow leather.

While bug-eaters echo-locate and fruit-eaters do not, the yellow umbrella, though ostensibly in the latter clan, uses something akin to radar. It emits radio waves at frequencies in a narrow band range between 88.3 and 91.7 megahertz, commonly known as the college radio or public radio transmission ghetto, though its signals rarely interfere with radio programing due to its limited broadcast range. You would have to bring a yellow umbrella into a studio and broadcast its signals via antenna to detect them, as people do, now and then, for reasons described below. A gland or organ, approximately the size and shape of a quail egg or new potato, situated below the bat's sternum, produces the electromagnetic emission.

When the yellow umbrella's signals have ever been translated into audible sound, something quite strange has occurred: the pulses are invariably a gargly, high-pitched phrase in Spanish, Portuguese, Garifuna, Q'eqchi', Mopan, Mayan, Creole, Plautdeitsch, or English, similar in a way to the mimicry of a parrot, but in content always with a leftist slant. This may be due to the left leanings of visitors to the Red Forest, who concern themselves with ecological conservancy, indigenous rights, resource management, bats, and other like preoccupations. "Free the Adoaxaji" was one, referring to the Red Forest's indigenous inhabitants, another, "Crush the Patriachy." "Abolish Debt." "Dissolve the IMF." "Private Property is Theft from the People." "Abolish Prison." Yet another was, "Ban Slash and Burn," though that would have been thought to refer to a destructive agricultural practice in the Amazon region, fifteen hundred miles from the Red Forest.

Along similar lines, for a long time, the signals dissented to the rule of Brazil's fascist president. "Down with Bolsonaro" was the sole phrase they would broadcast for months, whenever brought into the local transmission station by jocular anti-fascists. The President was quite embarrassed by this and tried his best to influence policy in the A Capellago, over which he has zero jurisdiction, cajoling and wheedling any way he could to get someone to hunt the yellow umbrellas to extinction, or ruin their habitat, or restrict leftwing travel to the Red Forest, or encourage rightwingers to go there and march through the undergrowth shouting pro-Bolsonaro slogans. President Donald Dump, at times explicitly or implicitly a target of the signals, attempted to exert influence with threats of a trade embargo, to no avail. None of either demagogue's efforts was the least bit effective. The signals of the yellow umbrella monkey bat, one of only three semi- aquatic umbrella monkey species, remain firmly on the Marxist to post-Marxist end of the ideological spectrum, much to the chagrin of the ruling and owning elite in the region and beyond, and to the delight of activists, academics, revolutionaries, scientists, teachers, folk singers, investigative journalists, liberation clergy and their congregations, and podcasters.

For the time being, protected by impish activists, and their popularity with the region's populace, the bats of the Red Forest of the Fat Island can be expected to flourish. On average, at least one never-before seen species of bat is discovered there each year, to say nothing of the as-yet-undiscovered possible curative properties of one or another bat's guano. And almost everyone agrees that, with the amount of batshit barraging us daily in the world, it would be nice if some of it turned out to have a use.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

Brett Kavanaugh is unfit to be the judge of an ugliest dog contest, let alone a justice of the Supreme Court. In the hours after his crackpot performance before his questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, where he whined, hollered, spat, wept, and carped that he was the victim of a well-funded revenge conspiracy by the Clintons to destroy him and his family, I heard an NPR anchor say that he "came out swinging." He came out flailing. Flailing is different from swinging. By swinging, one might hit a target on purpose. Flailing is involuntary movement caused by panic and fury. While flailing, one will hit many unintended targets.

We all saw it. Those predisposed toward anger at the Dump regime under which we have been forced to live by a supposed safety valve in the electoral system, which it turns out only provides safety from punishment to wealthy criminals, we were already antagonistic to this over-privileged bigot, this Kavanaugh. Instead of disarming us with charm, or with his awkwardly sparse admission that sexual assault is, yes, a bad thing, he played the aggrieved victim. Women who have been through the consequences of reporting sexual assault already know what it means to be the victim of a massive conspiracy, a conspiracy entrenched in our culture for centuries. Kavanaugh's bitter rage at the thwarting of his entitlement only made him unsympathetic and, apparently, out of control of his faculties. Testerical.

Thursday morning, before Lindsey Graham and others attempted to pile on the Democrats by mimicking Kavanaugh's grotesque invocation, I was due to supply producer Alex with my tease for today's Moment of Truth. I could have supplied a tease that avoided commitment. I could've said, "Saturday, Jeffy scrapes grease off the skillet." That's pretty non-committal. Or I could have come at it obliquely, saying, "Saturday, Jeffy takes a close look at Kavanaugh's penis." Kind of just rude, without saying anything of substance. But what if it comes out tomorrow, I worried, after I've teased my tease, that Kavanaugh doesn't have a penis? That he lost it in nursery school? It wouldn't do to mention it. That's cruel, even if the guy is a sexual thug. And we're all assuming he is. Mostly because of his face. I mean, that guy's mug says entitled, cruel, misogynist sex criminal all over it.

Which isn't really fair of me. I mean, it could be that the guy never did anything. I believe in believing the victim, but once you say, "Believe the victim," you've already claimed that the person is a victim. Anyone is capable of lying about anything. Any number of people are capable of lying about any number of things. All things considered the chance that Ford is inventing things is unlikely, though. And there's Kavanaugh's face. That horrid, punchable face. And that he has some unaccounted-for pay-off of a debt, and he apparently lied to Congress, and there's his face. And his gambling problem. And that face.

I mean, if I were a real feminist of faith, my tease would've been triumphant and predictive. "Jeffy waves bye-bye to Kavanaugh." But I'm just an ally. It makes me nimble, being an ally. I'd like to say I'm a feminist, because I like feminists and feminism, but I don't presume to be one. I don't think I have a sufficiently sophisticated understanding of the issues. And I don't have faith that Kavanaugh's appointment will be derailed. Because the people with the most influence over the process are assholes.

I do hate Kavanaugh. He's going to do away with the constitutional guarantee of abortion choice, which has already been eroded. Abortion is already effectively illegal in many parts of the US, due to lack of availability of the service. It's almost entirely illegal for poor rural women. And that's unhealthy. Abortion being illegal is unhealthy for women. It can be deadly. It criminalizes women's sovereignty over their own bodies. It criminalizes their choices of how to live. Abortion being illegal is a violent state of affairs.

So, that's a pretty good reason to lie. If you thought women were under a violent threat, you might lie to do something about it. Lie about being sexually assaulted. Right? Even if it meant enduring public humiliation? I mean, I wouldn't blame someone for lying under those circumstances. If it really was a logical decision. If the women in question really believed that false accusations would somehow protect abortion from being made illegal. But I don't think anyone's really making that calculation. That's a calculation the GOP and their operatives might make, but the Dems don't have it in them. These aren't City of Chicago Machine Dems, these are national-level Dems, who don't even think they need to do the normal, legal stuff to protect poor people. Why would they pay to do something underhanded to achieve anything that doesn't directly elect one of their own egomaniacs to office? What's in it for them?

And if you watched Ford's testimony before the Senate, you are probably confident that what she is saying is the truth.

It's not that Ford doesn't want Kavanaugh on the court whether he did something to her or not. She doesn't want Kavanaugh on the court because he did something to her. It makes no sense otherwise. Dump's been accused of sexual assault and hasn't suffered at all. There's no reason for Ford to believe Kavanaugh would suffer, especially if her claim were untrue, but even if it is true. If she is a sane person, and I guess we got a sense that she is, now that that's established, then the Republicans have to focus on their other arguments: "it was a long time ago," and "boys will be boys," and "he did the hard work of being white and male and working his butt off and being a privileged football player who ran in certain circles and thus has a right to expect this appointment." And they seem determined to appoint Kavanaugh based on those arguments. And I don't think, to a majority of voters, that that's going to feel like a persuasive set of arguments. The people are going to say, "What awful people those Republicans are. They're so awful, I wouldn't blame a woman for lying about their Supreme Court nominee. It's exactly what they deserve."

Evil, worthless human beings like Dump and Kavanaugh deserve to be lied about. But that's their ace in the hole. Their very unfitness for public service is their best argument. "We're awful. Yes, maybe we did sexually assault women, and we're so awful we probably did. But that's exactly why someone might lie to get us thrown out of our positions of power! Because we're terrible people. We deserve it, whether we did it or not. We're horrible. There's your reasonable doubt!"

The paradox of accusing someone capable of doing what they're accused of is that their obvious lack of decency gives a false accuser a motive for making a false accusation.

This is the trajectory Ronald Reagan's partnership with the ruin-government crowd launched us on, the path on which Newt Gingrich happily propelled us further, where this treacherous, unprincipled Congress has led us, and where Dump,who has commandeered the helm, has plunged us: through the looking glass. This is a Mad Hatter-level paradox, rendering all moral meaning completely nonsensical. Once the cowardly rightwing voters allowed these Teabaggers and Santorum dribblers into power, the die was cast. The concept of something being true would crumble. Kindness seems the least likely of things. Moral courage seems a comical suggestion. I'm not the first to point out that, when lying leadership gets overtly evil enough, no accusation it makes about a threat to itself can be ruled out. Nothing it asserts can be weighed on the normal scale of plausibility. We don't know what's going on anymore. All we know is we want it to stop.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

Imagine a world with so many TV shows you didn't know what to watch, who was watching what, or when you'd ever have time to become somewhat culturally literate. Was that show about the dead people returning but not as flesh-eating zombies on last year or six years ago? And what about the one that was similar to that one, but you just couldn't get through episode four? If you were to begin watching it again, would Netflix remember where in the episode you left off? Sometimes it does that. What about that show about a murder in Sweden? Or was that the American version? Is Jessica Jones still relevant? Did they ever say how he met your mother? What about that show that was a montage of every ethnicity and sexuality engaged in a mental orgy across time and space because they were somehow related to Daryl Hannah? Or did I dream that?

Imagine a world with a century's worth of content packed into a decade and a half. Well, that world is this one we're in now. I think, unless I'm thinking of a TV show about a world like that.

Cultural touchstones are following each other so rapidly, they've created microgenerations. I can't even give examples because, although 50 is the new 30, culturally it's the new 130. I'm culturally a hundred fifty-five years old, and that's by conservative estimates. At least I'm young for a vampire.

The world of sitcoms would have ended for me with the era of "All in the Family," the world of comedians, the era of Richard Pryor, but even olds like Milton Berle and Jerry Lewis weren't entirely of the past. Later it was only by dating younger women that I learned to be conversant in the Powerpuff Girls, Missy Elliott, and Chris Rock. And then being briefly married to a middle-school teacher caught me up on Sean Paul, hot chips, and Dave Chappelle.
The young people these days are no help, though. They're even more at sea than their myriad strata of elders. A friend of mine in the movie and music industries said she'd overheard some millennials complaining about being unfamiliar with the artists at this year's Video Music Awards. My friend has a pretty panoramic eye on the popular arts, so she was astounded to hear that these kids had never heard of Ariana Grande, and whoever else the new crop of, I guess, post-millennials were up on.

Microgenerations. I came up with the brand, and I regret it, but the genie's out of the bottle. We're not even halfway to adulthood before a new generation starts. A generation used to last 40 to 70 years. Last year it was, like, 7.7 years and you'd have to master a whole new array of cultural code. This year it's been sliced down to 3.35 years. A generation is irrelevant every 3.35 years. Your five-year-old is an over-the-hill stroker of the chin, wistful rememberer-of-when, longing for the good old days by the age of 8 and a half. Early onset senescent delirium begins at your bar mitzvah. Think how disturbing that kind of acceleration can be to a society we're all supposed to be creating together.

Now, I'm old. To me, Lorde and Sia are new artists. I don't even know if the artists and eras I mentioned earlier match up in chronology, or really are contemporaneous with the relationships and the marriage I vaguely associate them with. I'm in the same boat as these millennials and post-millennials, whom time is passing by. Except I have more layers of temporal trivia to get lost in. And the starmaker machinery keeps pumping out more kids, who turn into adults, who make new songs I can't get stuck in my head, they're too slippery and too small (my memory is big, it's the songs that got small), songs without melodies that all sound the same, and new standup comics with new comedy that's not funny cuz it's not supposed to be, and new romcoms that aren't funny in the same way romcoms never are funny, but with new stars barely distinguishable from the slightly older ones, whose facial features also haven't even developed yet out of the porcelain fetal putty they lie latent within.

And I think they're doing it on purpose. The big They. Not the Alex Jones They, but a related They, like, Illuminati adjacent. Think about it. They killed Bowie, Prince and Aretha, the only three artists we all, of any age, could agree on. Now we're lost in this semiotic labyrinth, blown around like confetti by currents of a commercial maelstrom howling through its corridors. Sometimes I have to listen to Sly and the Family Stone for an hour or two just to keep from putting my own eyes out so no more product gets into my head.

I find classic 70s funk is a solid anchor amid the storm. But these poor old-and-in-the- way post-millennials already getting long in the tooth, what will they have? Does Lana Del Rey count as a memory? Will they hearken back to her? Is Katy Perry riding a lion at Superbowl halftime an anchor in a storm, or is it too dreamlike to steady them on the sea- battered barque of the present moment? Li'l Uzi, Kendrick Lamar, are the old youngsters down with them? Will those artists constitute future conduits to a soothing nostalgia? Or will this time be remembered as an era of instability, and looking back on it no more grounding to a troubled soul than the memory of combat to a veteran with PTSD?

The third season of Twin Peaks is turning out, in away, to be the perfect artistic product of our time. And there are millennials who were way into it. The show's continuous undercurrent of violence against women, casting its shadow on all activity, the grasping for identity in a technological landscape at once decayed, rusted, yet unfathomably magic in its newness, the FBI reliant on Buddhist mysticism, never certain who they themselves are or whom they can trust to remain human, the persistence of past nuclear devastation into the future, the frightening echoes of arcane nursery rhymes and childhood trauma, the madness of repetition and addiction. But as appropriate as it may be as an artifact of our situation, what the hell kind of twisted anchor is it? We want a rock to cling to. But resting your weary soul on Twin Peaks can be as restful as trying to climb a mountain of non-Newtonian spaghetti.

In the 17th century, the nostalgic got to sit back and say, "Remember that play we saw about the Danish prince who suspected his mother and uncle of murdering his father?" They might even have remarked on the psychological depth of the characters Shakespeare, that bold new author, had created. "Yeah, that really stayed with me. How Hamlet needed more certainty, but in his search for certainty all he created was more doubt and despair. That was pretty cool," they might have said. Albeit erected on a foundation of indecision, that Elsinore is a rock. Compared to our era of shuffling identities, time out of sequence, unfocused anxiety, and eternal evil – mere indecision sounds like bliss.

You guys do know who Shakespeare was, right?

This goes back to something I discussed way back in 2009: the long view versus imbecilical time. Here I quote myself:

"In imbecilical time, noses need to be blown, petty arguments must be hashed out, dogs must be walked, lost keys must be found, strange smells must be dealt with, on top of which all the great, ambiguous, complex and long wisdom of the ages is, of course, strangled by ideology, bowdlerized and oversimplified, and crammed into bottles for contemporary consumption."

We struggle to maintain our footing on the shifting ice of multiple zeitgeists. It's important to have something bigger than your imbecilical time to hold onto, a solid place to stand. What is that thing? The Illuminati adjacent and their client billionaires have been chipping away at our foundation bit by bit. I'm happy see people of all ages returning to that old-time revolution, and I hear the desire to use it, not as a way back to the past, but as a way to explore and fashion the future. The future, though, is getting harder and harder to believe in. No future for you, for us. We need the future to have something to aim at. But, jeez, it's so butt-ugly.

But that old-time revolution. Prying loose the grip of the cruel, the heartless, the greedy, making them give the world back. Okay, forget the butt-ugly future. This is the long now. We have to keep our eye on the ongoing project, because it's not finished. It may never be finished. Because, unlike a series binge, nothing real is ever finished.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!

Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth, the thirst that is the drink.

I was reading a paper by a friend of mine, John Hartigan, a professor who teaches anthropology and sociology at the University of Texas in Austin. In it he shared this:

"In my classrooms, I ask students to look around at their peers and try to describe the range of skin tones present. It is quickly very apparent that 'black' and 'white' don't cut it—there is too much variation—and that really what we use race to do is classify people into a small set of categories."

His paper is about the value of genetic studies of Neanderthals, and how our attempts to distinguish between "us" and "them" are becoming more and more fruitless as we learn more about Neaderthals' very human behaviors. The illustrative anecdote about his classroom is a lead-in to a discussion about race being socially constructed. But implications in his paper evoke a world of errors we make in dividing groups in ways that flatter ourselves, whether we're aware of our biases or not.

My last Moment of Truth laid out the case for viewing supporters of Donald Dump as fitting Karl Popper's description of the intolerant, whom those in a tolerant society ought not tolerate. I ended with a tiny bit of irony, I like to think, saying, "Really rub their faces in your decency," or something like that. I think such irony was appropriate to a paradoxical premise like not tolerating the intolerant.

There is certainly behavior that is not to be tolerated, and some betrayals of rational discourse qualify as intolerable. Some Dump supporters seem to rely on bad-faith discourse as a way of propping up their bad-faith politics, and their continued devotion to a demagogue who evinces vile, corrupt, and self-serving behavior on a daily basis.

The Failing New York Times, which recently posted its most profitable quarter in years, hired a writer of color, Sarah Jeong, who, it was discovered, had tweeted a large volume of bile against white people over the years. One example was something about having no sympathy for the deaths of white people. Another said she enjoyed being cruel to elderly white men. She's no Hari Kondabolu. They were flat statements, not even couched in wit. Not couched in anything except the fact that she was of Korean descent. Which for some people wasn't enough couching.

Articles damning her and leftist intolerance were trotted out from the recent past or created spontaneously in response. The most salient arguments were that anti-white rhetoric on the left, especially in academia, where most of these writers' ire is directed, is not only rampant and doctrinaire in a quasi-religious sense, but also serves the elitist project of stigmatizing "out" groups, who haven't learned to internalize the left's cultish rules. And one of the main "out" groups is whites of a lower economic class. Basically, anti-whiteness is not really anti-whiteness, because "woke" whites (i.e. elite whites) can espouse it with logical consistency in "woke" culture. Left anti-whiteness is really anti- poor-whiteness. It's elitist, and serves to keep poor white people, as well as speech that would challenge left political pieties, out of the academy. Education is one of the gateways out of poverty. The left is supposed to want to end poverty. They're hypocrites.

There are a few things wrong with this calculation, and the worst is that it is a calculation, and not a true concern about upending the economic power structure that keeps poor people poor. Andrew Sullivan, one of the complaining writers, is hardly a socialist, or even that interested in redistributing wealth more equitably. The exercise is really just finger-pointing and assertions of hypocrisy meant to tar the left with the brush the left is supposed to be using to tar capitalism. The right who call the left hypocrites are the real hypocrites.

That doesn't mean the argument lacks validity. That doesn't mean certain left and left- academic scenes aren't de facto churches with dogmas of anti-whiteness and anti- maleness. I know firsthand that some are. But the academy is no more monolithic than humans are. I also know the reverse, people fighting against the white and European- centered bias in fields like Medieval Studies, where they're struggling coherently and earnestly against power in academic organizations that seem disingenuously clueless about their exclusion of people of diverse identities, as well as ideas that challenge the White European near-monopoly on the narrow definition of what their field can be about. Those legitimately challenging these white patriarchal bodies find themselves dismissed, tarred with the brush of political correctness.

Most who've matured out of the hazing, backbiting and virtue-signaling in any leftish political scene look on simplistic, arrogant political correctness today with generous pity. That generous pity is, admittedly, patronizing, but it's hard not to be generous to those whose hearts are, at least ostensibly, in the right place. Yet it's equally difficult not to be patronizing toward unreasonable, self-destructive people. It's that or take them down a peg, and let me tell you, no one but a smug billionaire is higher on their peg than a leftist who knows all the right things to think and say and is ready to tell you what they are at the slightest provocation. It may be hard to admit – it's certainly hard to discuss in any depth with the unreasonable – but the left, like any group of people, has its share of sycophants, egotists, manipulative jerks, conformists, mindless yes-people, self-righteous fools, and those who simply enjoy being mean for personal reasons. The left is just people. And many of us are wrong about many, many things. And we assume we're not wrong because we're on the side of good. You know, the way Evangelical Christians do.

There are those who will say that this is my white privilege talking, and I'm not one to doubt the many obvious and hidden benefits accruing to me by my being white, so I'll just repeat ideas I've heard many black socialists aver: class solidarity and critiquing the economic power structures that oppress us all is key to building an effective resistance and to creating change. Yes, they are power structures that assuredly favor whites, but not whites alone.

Socialists who ignore racism and other strains of systemic and quasi-systemic xenophobia do so at the risk of failing vast numbers of powerless people. It's a historical truth that's been assimilated into current leftist discourse, if not always leftist action, and the socialist commitment to seeking and empowering diversity needs to be continually maintained by all. But leftists who get distracted from the battle against the actually powerful, the massively destructive powerful, as opposed to the "coded" powerful or the "linguistically" powerful or the "micro-aggressively" powerful (who of course replicate the oppression of their oppressors – and make no mistake, poor white people are oppressed) – leftists who somehow don't believe the patriarchy can be replicated by non- white and non-cis-male oppressors risk failing, and thereby losing the solidarity of, vast numbers of powerless people, and not just white ones.

It's necessary for people of color and queerness of all kinds to talk about and act against the oppression they experience every day in white hetero-normative society. History shows that, otherwise, their oppression will be ignored by white hetero-normative leftists. But it's equally necessary that the left never allow our focus on the power that comes from control of material wealth to waiver. It's time for our species to outgrow the need for abusively unequal distribution of resources. We have to do it. We should have done it ages ago. It's killing vast numbers of people and animals and plants.

When the left shrinks the many categories of humans down to "us" and "them," we're also replicating our own oppression. Some of us are subverting it in this way. But if you're not careful, if your subversion is shallow, then you're at worst a problem to your comrades, at best a mere cartoon. Cartoons are great for agitation and propaganda, but most problems in the world require complex thoughts, strategy, and a soupçon of finesse.

The fact is, it's fun to be mean, blunt, and stupid. It's hilarious. It's one of the great comic tactics. Being mean to yourself and being mean to others. And, let's face it, white people are horrible. Even when they're nice, they're horrible, because behind their niceness, or around it or inside it, whether perceived or actually there, is a brutal, imperialist oppressor offering small pox blankets. Somewhere around or behind or inside me is an inbred, possum-eating, lynching, backwoods redneck of every civilized person's Deliverance nightmares. When I go to eat Chinese food in Monterey Park, I'm actually forcing the proprietors of Chengdu Taste to build the railroad from the Mississippi to the Pacific. And, hey, no one puts a gun to my head in the morning and says, "Be white today, or else." It's my choice.

It might be as hard for a white person to be a true ally as it is for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle. But people are capable of doing difficult things. And even Neaderthals were people. The differences between you and your enemy might not be as great or as many as you might like to think.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day.


Posted by Alexander Jerri

Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.

The late champion of liberal democratic rationalism, Karl Popper, said, "[I]f we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them... we should claim the right to suppress [the intolerant] if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument[.]"

Two groups are at odds these days: the MAGAts, and everyone else. MAGAts can often be identified by their red baseball caps with the words "Make America Great Again" in white letters above the bill. The caps are worn to protest the loss of US manufacturing jobs to China, and are manufactured in China. Not true, according to Snopes. But believable. Truthy!

MAGAts don't always wear hats. They can also be identified by their ideological and aspirational fealty to a sleazy real estate developer, who was born with a fake Rolex on his wrist and mentored by Senator Joe McCarthy's scummy lawyer, Roy Cohn – himself such a caricature of a slimy shyster that even the swarthiest Jews in the arms-for-blood-diamonds business are offended by having to share a cultural identity with him. This sleazy real estate developer, who goes by the name Donald Dump, sports a comb-over of bottle-blond fibers that renders his appearance a perfect metaphor for his moral character as well as his aesthetic taste. Donald Dump found Liberace's domestic decor understated.

MAGAts believe that immigrants and other foreigners, rather than the finance industry, overweening corporations, and self-aggrandizing mega-robber-barons, are to blame for workers' depressed wages, buying power, and standard of living in the United States, and they've finally elected someone as their Leader who will not only feed them this line of monkey gland sauce they find so delicious, but even take bold steps to put on scattered Lysenko-esque showcase versions of remedying what is actually not the problem.

In a global civilization slowly killing itself with fossil fuel emissions, industrial fertilizer and cattle farts, MAGAts believe the answer to all their problems is a bloated John Jacob Astor/Benito Mussolini hybrid reviving the coal industry, so that we may return the once great American sky to its once great condition as a gray- black death shroud over London during the industrial revolution, and thus complete the Dickensian metamorphosis of our ostensibly free society.

They believe making America great again means turning it economically and environmentally into 19th century London, with the gun laws of 19th century Deadwood. And they believe a man who is physical unable to utter an honest sentence, who bilks and abuses those who work for him, who pays women he has extramarital intercourse with to keep quiet about it, insults the appearance of others in the most juvenile way, and gets a giddy kick out of denying manmade climate change, the moral repugnance of neo-Nazis, the veracity of the first black president's birth certificate, and any other self-evident truth he senses his supporters would enjoy hearing him deny – this is the man MAGAts believe will return the United States to the mythical god-fearing, upright, chaste, polite society of their nostalgic Country Time Lemonade delusions, a place where white people will be able to do an honest day's work for an honest day's pay, in dignity. Everyone else, they believe, deserves poverty, prison or to be exiled and terrorized in a former colony of one the great European empires.

MAGAts believe that white people – white men, especially – are being uniquely shafted under an ethos that rewards gays and black people with special rights, like the rights to marry, attend decent schools, and vote. MAGAts are classically bigoted, in the Klan and National Socialist mode, against non-whites, non-Protestants, non- heterosexuals, and non-men. Finally, they are overjoyed by a political leader spouting overt disdain for the rights of human beings to due process, liberty, and the right of the press and the people to dissent, while his rhetoric emboldens the neo- fascist elements in our polarized culture.

So it's only natural that we should hate them, given the hate they have for us and the BS they back it up with. When one of them – take Alan Dershowitz, for example – bemoans being shunned by his former friends, or another of them fantasizes the injustices they would endure were they to drive through a so-called "liberal enclave" with a MAGA bumper sticker, they are met with anything but sympathy by decent society.

Why a MAGA bumper sticker, anyway? Why not something pleasant? Like a bumper sticker that reads, "I Love You, Sardines?" and then drive their car into the ocean and bring the fishes, who work so hard to feed us, a little warmth into their cold, salty lives? They should do something generous, if only from a publicity standpoint. Sure, it's a scary neighborhood, the sardine part of town, but if you spend a short eternity there you'll see sardines are just like you and me. Take the plunge.

Is it rude, is it uncivil, to shun, stigmatize, and hate the MAGAts? Aren't we just as bad as they are if we ostracize, berate, or clobber them? No. We will never be as bad as them. That's the point. They are worse than us. They believe untrue things, and are even jazzed about embracing and spreading ugly untruths that support their fascist beliefs. They want to continue believing that pursuing their version of America, the 19th Century London-Deadwood version, is going to be good for everyone, and if not for everyone, at least for those who play by their rules: admit that white people and men are the best people, Christianity is the best religion, and a blatant and not even very clever liar is the best President. These are beliefs we must extinguish from political acceptability. MAGAtism must be oppressed, discredited, mocked, and eradicated wherever it appears.

I know I'm preaching to the choir, but I also know that this choir has a tendency toward empathy. When it comes to MAGAts, their leaders, and their sloganeers on Fox News Channel and elsewhere, you must fight your tendency to forgive folly. You have to pause, take a deep, mindful breath, realize what these motherscooters are trying to achieve, and lash out irrationally and with unabashed fury. There is no reason to consider their point of view. There is no value to any of their sob stories. Anyone might have an almost identical sob story, yet somehow not have allowed it to turn them into a fascist idiot. There is no room for compassion. No time for it. No reason for it.

If there is a god, Donald Dump is her most botched creation. What was she going for? A duck? A pig? How did human DNA get in him? Was he conceived by a human mother and father? Or was it a mingling of fractured chromosomes suspended in a syrup of rat pus, cockroach urine, and rapist sputum, injected into the anus of a armadillo rotting alive from radiation poisoning? But that would mean he and Ann Coulter are siblings.

That's right, choir, don't be cowed into tolerance. Don't let yourselves be beguiled by the resemblance between MAGAts and Homo sapiens. Work on dehumanizing them in your mind's eye. Imagine having the opportunity to inflict suffering on a MAGAt, or a whole family of MAGAts. Offer no quarter. Demonstrate no compassion unless necessary. And I mean absolutely necessary. Like if you think you're being filmed.

Of all the things that are in short supply right now, kindness is the resource of which we are most in need. Don't waste it on MAGAts. Of course you will pity them. They are self-destructive fools. Of course you will be moved to tears by a MAGAt who has lost their home because a heartless multibillionaire couldn't be bothered to pay his fair share of taxes or his workers a decent wage. Your heartstrings will be tugged by the tale of a MAGAt who has had to file bankruptcy due to medical bills but still insists that a single-payer system will turn the USA into Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. And yes, most MAGAts have more respect for human dignity than Donald Dump has. It would difficult to be as horrible a person in any respect as Donald Dump.

If a MAGAt is drowning, should you throw it a rope? If a MAGAt is choking on a Tic- Tac, should you give it a charitable Heimlich? If a MAGAt child is about to eat a Tide pod, should you prevent it? Yes, yes, of course. We're not heartless, after all. We're not made of stone, or of MDF, that compressed fiberboard that MAGAt hearts are made of. Just remember, don't take your humanity too far. But if you have a chance to both rescue a MAGAt from certain tragedy and gloat about it, I say, really rub their faces in your decency.

This has been the Moment of Truth. Good day!