Hilaire Belloc’s “Lines to a Don” meant something entirely different…

… but parts of the poem contain a curiously contemporary resonance.


… Don poor at Bed and worse at Table,
Don pinched, Don starved, Don miserable;
Don stuttering, Don with roving eyes,
Don nervous, Don of crudities;
Don clerical, Don ordinary,
Don self-absorbed and solitary;
Don here-and-there, Don epileptic;
Don puffed and empty, Don dyspeptic;
Don middle-class, Don sycophantic,
Don dull, Don brutish, Don pedantic;
Don hypocritical, Don bad,
Don furtive, Don three-quarters mad;
Don (since a man must make an end),
Don that shall never be my friend.

… Don dreadful, rasping Don and wearing,
Repulsive Don—Don past all bearing.
Don of the cold and doubtful breath,
Don despicable, Don of death;
Don nasty, skimpy, silent, level;
Don evil; Don that serves the devil.
Don ugly — that makes fifty lines…


Guess that’s what they mean by immortal verse.

UD’s Pretty Confident that Washington State University’s Mike Leach will be getting an emergency…

… raise of $20,000 — half of it to cover the $10,000 fine he just got for telling everyone that an upcoming football game he might lose is rigged, and another $10,000 to make up for the pain and humiliation he might have suffered because of having been fined.

Don’t leave, Mike! We love you! How much more money do you want? You are our golden boy and shed nothing but light and love upon our fine institution!


And yes – to answer your question – he’s a Trump man.

UD thanks a reader for telling her about…

Trump Book Report.

Jude is SO SAD. So obscure. Loser.

The Wretched of the Earth. You’re telling me. Disgusting.

“Such a nasty woman.”

She stands alone waiting for suggestions
He’s so nervous, avoiding all the questions
His lips are dry, her heart is gently pounding
Don’t you just know exactly what they’re thinking

If you want my country and you think I’m nasty
Come on, sugar, steal the show
Show you can debate me, show that you can bait me
Come on, honey, tell me so

He’s acting mad, looking for an answer
Come on honey, pull your thoughts together
Talk about how girls are pigs
Talk about how it’s all rigged

He catches a cab to his high rise apartment
At last he can tell her exactly what his heart meant
Nasty woman nasty woman
Won’t let me be president
Nasty woman nasty woman
Won’t let me be president

“There is no telling what an increasingly desperate Trump, a reality TV showman whose entire campaign has been an unmitigated flouting of conventional political, cultural and behavioral norms, will do in his final 90 minutes on the debate stage to try and affect a race that appears to be over or, perhaps more pragmatically, to attempt to save face by blaming his dim electoral prospects on an allegedly biased media and the unsubstantiated claims of a rigged election.”

Think Chris Burden.


The girls can’t help it.


…won’t play ball.

Thanks, Mr Trump!

Employees at two plants operated by distiller Jim Beam have gone on strike, saying they are overworked amid a nationwide revival of interest in Kentucky bourbon.

Erection Update

The latest.

That Shakespeherian Trump

A brilliant little essay that doesn’t even mention his name.


As Trump’s campaign collapses into one long lost weekend, more and more observers zoom out and get literary.

There’s something both grotesque and bracing about the confrontation between Clinton, with her disciplined professionalism, and Trump, with his increasingly frenzied assertions of male prerogative. Like the female protagonist of a quest narrative — or, perhaps, of a dystopian fantasy — Clinton has made it through all her challenges to face the bull-headed Minotaur of sexism at the end of the maze.

Scathing Online Schoolmarm LOVES Matt Taibbi, and Seldom Finds Anything to Scathe in His Writing.

[Great visual on this article, by the way.]

Keeping up with Trump revelations is exhausting. By late October, he’ll be caught whacking it outside a nunnery. There are not many places left for this thing to go that don’t involve kids or cannibalism. We wait, miserably, for the dong shot.


All 16 of the non-Trump entrants were dunces, religious zealots, wimps or tyrants, all equally out of touch with voters. Scott Walker was a lipless sadist who in centuries past would have worn a leather jerkin and thrown dogs off the castle walls for recreation. Marco Rubio was the young rake with debts. Jeb Bush was the last offering in a fast-diminishing hereditary line. Ted Cruz was the Zodiac Killer.


Duped for a generation by a party that kowtowed to the wealthy while offering scraps to voters, then egged on to a doomed rebellion by a third-rate con man who wilted under pressure and was finally incinerated in a fireball of his own stupidity, people like this found themselves, in the end, represented by literally no one.

[Okay, fine, a little over the top. His images are all over the place. But worth it for “fireball of his own stupidity.”]


That was the highlight of the evening, unless you want to count Rudy Giuliani’s time onstage, with his eyes spinning and arms flailing like a man who’d come to a hospital lost-and-found in search of his medulla oblongata.


How Giuliani isn’t Trump’s running mate, no one will ever understand. Theirs is the most passionate television love story since Beavis and Butthead. Every time Trump says something nuts, Giuliani either co-signs it or outdoes him. They will probably spend the years after the election doing prostate-medicine commercials together.

[For her part, UD has predicted that, post-election, Trump (and Giuliani?) will head up America’s first Female Genital Mutilation unit.]


10 a.m.: “It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.”

Shackled! Only in America can a man martyr himself on a cross of pussy.


Trump from the start had been playing a part, but his acting got worse and worse as time went on, until finally he couldn’t keep track: Was he supposed to be a genuine traitor to his class and the savior of the common man, or just be himself, i.e., a bellicose pervert with too much time on his hands?


Trump can’t win. Our national experiment can’t end because one aging narcissist got bored of sex and food. Not even America deserves that. But that doesn’t mean we come out ahead. We’re more divided than ever, sicker than ever, dumber than ever. And there’s no reason to think it won’t be worse the next time.

“Take a look, you take a look. Look at how ugly and disgusting New York looked after 9/11, you tell me what you think. I don’t think so.”

Donald Trump explains why he didn’t, after all, give a $10,000 donation to a 9/11 fund.

Some nice writing, as a Utah newspaper asks Trump to resign from the campaign.

Update: Thanks to a reader, I’ve taken a second look at this writing. I think I liked the content so much that I overlooked some pretty obvious problems. Here’s the excerpt:

When choosing the ostensible leader of the free world, the American electorate requires the clear assurance that their chosen candidate will consistently put the well-being of others ahead of his or her own personal gratification. The most recent revelations of Trump’s lewdness disturb us not only because of his vulgar objectification of women, but also because they poignantly confirm Trump’s inability to self-govern.

What oozes from this audio is evil. We hear a married man give smooth, smug and self-congratulatory permission to his intense impulses, allowing them to outweigh the most modest sense of decency, fidelity and commitment. And although it speaks volumes about sexual morality, it goes to the heart of all ethical behavior. Trump’s banter belies a willingness to use and discard other human beings at will. That characteristic is the essence of a despot.

Okay, let me first say that given the historic importance of this editorial, the Deseret News should have done a far better job of writing this thing.

Start with ostensible. That word means apparently the case, but not necessarily. The American president is indeed known to many as the leader of the free world, so this can’t be what the paper intended. The word next would have worked nicely; person considered the leader of the free world would have been awkward but okay. But ostensible is simply wrong.

In general, the writing is wordy. Consider:

… the American electorate requires the clear [drop the clear] assurance that their chosen candidate will consistently put the well-being of others ahead of his or her own [drop his or her own] personal gratification. The most recent revelations of Trump’s lewdness disturb us not only because of his vulgar objectification of women, but also because they poignantly confirm Trump’s inability to self-govern. [Poignantly, like ostensibly, is simply not what the writers intended. The word suggests heart-rending, moving… That’s all wrong here. I think the writers were going for sharply or acutely or something like that.]

The next sentence is great: What oozes from this audio is evil. Listen to it and you can hear why. First, it’s short – not wordy. Second, it ends on its most important word: evil. Third, it’s poetic: oozes, audio, evil. Three words beginning on a vowel in a short sentence give the thing a lilt as well as a punch. And finally, oozes somehow conveys the deeply sordid nature of these gradually emerging revelations. See James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man:

His sins trickled from his lips, one by one, trickled in shameful drops from his soul festering and oozing like a sore, a squalid stream of vice. The last sins oozed forth, sluggish, filthy.

One last point: The writers misuse, in the last sentence, the word belie. They mean to say reveal, while belie means to show something to be false.

Election getting…

snatched away.

Il Penceroso

“There was an 11-year-old girl who told our staff, and she said this completely unsolicited, she was talking about Donald Trump’s words in campaign commercials,” [a television anchor interviewing Mike Pence] said, according to a transcript obtained by NBC’s Vaughn Hillyard. “She said this: ‘When I hear [Trump’s words about pussy] and look in the mirror, they make me feel bad about myself.’ And again, she said that totally unsolicited. What would you say to that little girl?”

“Well, I would say to any one of my kids and any children in this country that Donald Trump and I are committed to to a safer and more prosperous future for their family,” Pence replied. “The weak and feckless foreign policy that Hillary Clinton promises to continue has literally caused wider areas of the world to spin apart. The rise of terrorist threats that have inspired violence here at home, and we’ve seen an erosion of law and order in our streets.”

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