‘Trump Authorizes Administration to Begin Working With Biden on Transition’

It’s about time. My beloved country will get over Trump’s threat to our democracy.

I have such confidence in the soundness of our democratic foundations that I never lamented; but I certainly felt anger and anxiety along the way.

A sense of surreality and a sense of humor helped a lot; you don’t spend decades teaching modernist literature without knowing that the world can turn kafkaesque, and that the absurd is as comic as it is tragic. But you’re never entirely prepared for a truly wild turn of events.


And what is left to say about The Genius of the Carpathians, America’s Père Ubu? Only that I hope his behavior over the last two weeks has begun to unsettle some of the people who follow him out of a desire for an authoritarian government. I hope they come to realize how grotesque that desire is; I hope they begin to perceive how grotesque he – like all authoritarians – is. Especially grotesque on American soil.

I understand how America made the conman; I’ll admit to having a hell of a time understanding how America made the conman president. Biden’s strong showing vindicates the belief I’ve held throughout these last months: America has always been under there — under the cruelty, ignorance, and arrogance. Virtually all Americans recognize that when a White House is represented by Rudolph Giuliani and Sydney Powell there is absolutely nothing to recognize; we are fundamentally a sane rational earnest practical people, and when our government degenerates into curdled cynicism and idiot fanaticism, we know, most of us, that we have entirely lost our way.


And now Mary’s uncle settles into a new persona: Sideshow Bob, eternally popping up to try to vanquish Joe Biden.


University Diaries understands that Trump’s legal dream team will be announcing the addition of Professor James Tracy, of Newtown massacre conspiracy fame, to their election-overturning effort. While not an attorney, Tracy is a noted communications expert, and will, a source tells UD, be the president’s chief spokesperson on the national vote, clarifying to the public the complex means by which it was stolen.

A veteran of dozens of conspiracy theories – not only the Sandy Hook mass murders, but “the mass shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., in 2012; the Washington Navy Yard shooting and the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013; and the massacre at a holiday meeting in December in San Bernardino, Calif.,” were all staged by anti-gun zealots in the Obama government – Tracy has the guts to go after the truth wherever it lies:

Lenny and Veronique Pozner, the parents of Noah Pozner, who was 6 when he was killed at Newtown, wrote [in] an opinion piece … that Mr. Tracy had demanded that they prove that Noah ever existed, that they were his parents and that they owned the rights to photographs of him. The professor, they said, “personally sought to cause our family pain and anguish.”


There is a Trump lawyer named Powell

Whose ideas come direct from her bowel

The woman’s so fruity

That even Mad Rudy

Has needed to throw in the towel

A Pack of Venezuelan Communists in League with George Soros, China, Cuba, the CIA, and a Voting Machine Distributor …

… go after Trump’s advisor on covid.


Judge Brann dismisses Trump’s latest effort to nullify the votes of millions. He had a few things to say along the way.

[S]trained legal arguments without merit, and speculative accusations, … cannot justify the disenfranchisement of a single voter, let alone all the voters of [our country’s] sixth most populated state… [Trump threw haphazard allegations together like] Frankenstein’s Monster… [Trump cannot] deny more than 6.8 million people their right to vote …

Why Donald Trump Might Kill Himself.

He’s an old white guy full of rage, despair, and vindictiveness; all of the strategies he’s used throughout life to be a winner have lately failed, and he now finds himself a very public loser. 

Because he is narcissistic, the public nature of his failure is close to unendurable, and he continues to try everything in his power to reverse events. The collapse of these efforts only adds to his public humiliation.

He has been in bad physical health.  It’s quite possible that at his age, and just having recovered from the corona virus, he has a number of serious medical problems, though these will not have been disclosed to us.

Many of his former friends and associates are bailing on him, or giving him the silent treatment.  He feels lonely, isolated. He has isolated himself. Maureen Dowd calls him “a child isolated and miserable living inside a national landmark, lashing out and spiraling into self-destructive acts.” Former FBI counterintelligence director Frank Figliuzzi goes so far as to describe Donald Trump as currently a “barricaded subject.

Hey. I ain’t drawing the pictures.


He is the very embodiment, in other words, of the suicide. 

Demographically, he stands smack in the center of the self-slaughter sweet spot.

You’re shocked. You think it’s a crazy notion. Allow me to quote a recent NYT headline:

‘How Did We Not Know?’ Gun Owners Confront a Suicide Epidemic

Try to keep in mind two salient features here (You probably won’t be able to, because people HATE to think about suicide.):

  1. A suicide epidemic. In some states (Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, Utah, Idaho, New Mexico), the numbers are staggering.
  2. General ignorance about the suicide epidemic.

“Utah has very permissive gun laws, but we also have a very low homicide rate. What we didn’t realize was we have a huge suicide rate.”

How can you not realize that you have enormous suicide numbers, like Utah? How can you fail to notice that three of your counties have suicide rates 58% higher than the rest of the state? Than the rest of the state with close to the highest suicide rate in the nation? You can only succeed in not seeing this carnage if you’re totally determined not to see it. Just the way you will not see – will laugh off – the idea that the president of the United States might not be immune to the suicide epidemic, even as he’s flagrantly melting down in front of the nation.

I don’t say it’s likely. I do say it’s possible.


Suicide, writes A. Alvarez, is “a terrible but utterly natural reaction to the strained, narrow, unnatural necessities we sometimes create for ourselves.”  Donald Trump is trapped in exactly this way: he has created necessities having to do with power, prestige, money, sexual conquest, cruelty, and above all victory in every contest.  Yet he is about to lose power; he is widely viewed as a vulgarian; he has much less money than he boasts, and stands to lose a large chunk of what he does have as a result of many lawsuits; he is too old for sexual conquest; most people regard his cruelty as contemptible, and it certainly no longer works as well as it once did to frighten people into giving in to his demands; he has lost by six million votes to Joe Biden.  Only the all-out paranoid or self-servingly degenerate are willing to appear on television to defend him. He himself has become quite paranoid.

This horrible outcome is a result of extensive conspiracies against him (he appeared in front of the nation last evening, ranting in this instance about pharma conspiracies).  There are too many of these conspiracies to count, and he feels undone by unrelenting deep state machinations.

What are his options? He lacks the courage and the cohorts to stage a coup; the prospect of doing anything on the outside after having been in the Oval Office is completely depressing. Degrading. For all his talk of 2024, he knows he’s already too tired to do the job, and that, realistically, he won’t have the energy to run again.


There’s no compensation in affective life awaiting him – a cold wife; various ex-children, some of whom (paranoia, and an intolerable sense of being displaced, rising again here) clearly intend to ride his coattails into political positions of their own; a dwindling number of people willing to be seen with him on a golf course.


Then there’s guilt. People think he’s incapable of it, but his fatal failures in the matter of the pandemic gnaw at him. He knows he acted badly there; and not only badly. At night, in bed, he considers whether it’s true as many say that he is responsible for a lot of deaths. During daylight hours he can convince himself he’s a great man who saved many people. At night, images of the sick and suffering, of funerals, visit him. He thinks he begins to be haunted.

Another conspiracy against him. A conspiracy of the dead.

The only real pleasure left derives from the thought of the dread and misery he’s inflicting on his enemies. Also from the reception and broadcast of his suicide note, which he has written a thousand times in his head: Hope you enjoy seventy million Americans rising up to beat the shit out of you now that you’ve driven me to this…


Strangely, what sticks in his craw the most from all of this is his own daughter-in-law, Lara Trump. It’s so clear that, of the second generation, Bionic Woman, who even named her daughter for the state she plans to run in, will be the mid-twenty-first century Trump. Jesus.


Finally: It is in the nature of cults that the cult leader kills himself. He may, like Jim Jones or Marshall Applewhite or David Koresh, take everyone with him one way or another; but Trump has far too many followers for this to be practicable. He’ll have to take one for the team.


How? Barricaded subject shoots himself in the head, at his desk in the Oval Office.

Best. Writer. Ever.

RIP Jan Morris. Here’s a brief post I wrote about her a couple of years ago.

As UD and her fellow Americans grapple with a very long season of cruelty, here’s what matters.

[I]n her [local] life, Morris reported little change [after her sex reassignment]: walking in her town, no one batted an eyelid when she introduced herself as Jan. “I put it down to kindness,” she told the Observer in 2020. “Just that. Everything good in the world is kindness.”

Here is more of her great essay on Bolivia. Page 136 is just some of the finest, most exciting prose ever written.

Hamlet’s Last Words.

For our time.


O, my dye, Horatio;

The potent poison quite o’er-crows my cheeks:

I cannot live to hear the news from Georgia;

But I do prophesy the election lights

On Trump: he has my dying voice;

So tell him, with the occurrences, more and less,

Which have solicited. The rest is silence.

South Dakota Death Trip

The dark romanticization of death displays itself nowhere more vividly than in Governor Kristi Noem’s South Dakota. Robert Mapplethorpe has nothing on Kristi and her fellow macabre mid-Americans, with their heavy drinking and smoking, home suicide arsenals, meth addiction, traffic fatalities (Noem herself “has received 26 traffic citations, including 20 speeding tickets from 1989 to 2010, stop sign and seat belt violations, no driver’s license, failure to appear notices, and two arrest warrants.”) and of course on top of all that covid, which the governor welcomes as yet another source of the frisson that comes with defiantly asserting your absolute personal freedom — and if you’re a South Dakotan, this means the freedom to achieve the death you desire.


This Brit snob, writing for the Guardian, really does not get it:

[T]he terrifying surge of Covid-19 cases … is battering the state under Noem’s contentious leadership. South Dakota has been listed by Forbes as one of the 10 most dangerous states in the Union, all of them in the Midwest.

Coronavirus in South Dakota is running at an intensity only surpassed in the US by its neighbor North Dakota. The state has an alarming positivity rate of almost 60% – nearly six out of 10 people who take a Covid test are infected – second only to another neighbor, Wyoming.

Viewed through the lens of cases and deaths, South Dakota is also at the top of the league table. More than 66,000 South Dakotans have contracted the disease and at least 644 have died, a number likely to rise as hospitals reach breaking point.

Amid this devastating contagion, Noem is rigidly sticking to the strategy she has adopted since the pandemic began. It consists of a refusal to accept mask mandates and repeated denial of the science around the efficacy of wearing masks; resistance to imposing any restrictions on bars and restaurants; no limits on gatherings in churches or other places of worship; and no orders to stay at home.

While the statistics are clear – the virus is running wild in South Dakota – Noem has turned a public health emergency into an issue of “freedom” and “liberty”, consistently lying about the trajectory of the disease under her watch. “We’re doing really good in South Dakota. We’re managing Covid-19,” she has said.

So let UD explain, starting with that last thing. South Dakota really is doing really good because South Dakota seeks death. It’s none of our goddamn business – and certainly not the federal government’s business – how South Dakotans perceive existence. Widely scattered, solitary, freezing on vast fields of abandoned churches, they seek out the viral “danger,” “terror,” and “intensity” from which the trembling little Guardian writer flees. Read Blood Meridian, you fool! Learn something about the places you write about before you start writing.

Live free and die! Live fast die young! These are the nihilistic mottos of a state which realizes it has run out of reasons to exist.


UPDATE: “His staff are appalled.”

Must not be from around those parts.

‘Well the frost is on the pumpkin / And the hay is in the barn…’

UD‘s sunny garden, 9:00 AM, after the first frost of the season.

The post’s title is from James Taylor’s Walking Man – a song which for almost fifty years has been playing in my head.
Another GREAT Headline

Been injured in an election? Call Rudy Giuliani now!

Headline of the Day

Giuliani’s court bid to overturn Biden victory turns to farce as he forgets judge’s name, calls other lawyer ‘that angry man,’ claims the 11 biggest cities are conspiring to steal election, then gets directions to the nearest martini bar.

And you wonder why women wear burqas.

Not that it helps much.



The tweets are calm tonight.

The vote is bull, and so unfair

And full of hate.  On coastal elites the light

Gleams.  So wrong … The cliffs of Alabama stand

Glimmering and vast, ready to vote another day.

Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!

Only, from the long line of fake

Media, where scum weave their grand

Conspiracies against me …

Listen! You hear the grating roar

Of traitors, which a red wave will draw back, and fling,

In 2024, into the desert sand.

O sorrow cease!  And then again begin

With tremulous cadence slow, to bring

A future dawn of gladness in.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

“Utah has very permissive gun laws, but we also have a very low homicide rate. What we didn’t realize was we have a huge suicide rate.”

Yes, Utah is one of those big manly gunned-up states (also Montana, Wyoming, Alaska…) where you better not mess with me cuz I wanna mess with me. Suicide, ho!

UD firmly believes that a lot of men buy guns with their own eventual suicides in mind. The suicide option may not be at the forefront of their thinking as they amass scads of weapons; but you know that implicit in the wide-open-spaces nihilist’s life (drinking, driving pointlessly about at high speed, divorcing like crazy, alienating everyone around you) is a clear endpoint, an obvious moment somewhere in your late fifties, early sixties, when you lose your bad boy bounce, you’re all alone, and the winters are long.

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Dr. Bernard Carroll, known as the "conscience of psychiatry," contributed to various blogs, including Margaret Soltan's University Diaries, for which he sometimes wrote limericks under the name Adam.
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