‘[In the first debate,] Biden, in the eyes of most, did what he had to do, giving America a solid alternative to what is turning out to be a slow descent into political and cultural insanity.’

And in the second, he did even better. We may indeed be able to escape from the snake pit.

When you’ve been a bad girl, haughty is never a good look.

From Ghislaine Maxwell’s just-released 2016 deposition.

*******************

Did any of the masseuses … perform sexual acts for Jeffrey Epstein?

I have just answered the question.

No you haven’t.

I have.

No you haven’t.

Yes I have.

You are refusing to answer the question.

Let’s move on.

I’m in charge of the deposition. I say when we move on and when we don’t. You are here to respond to my questions. If you refuse to answer, the court will bring you back for another deposition.

Let’s Review.

Over 200,000 Americans have died. The economy has tanked, shedding tens of millions of jobs. The White House itself is the center of a massive Covid-19 outbreak that has infected the president, the first lady, several senators, and many other administration and Republican Party officials. Far from a beacon of resilience, the president has become a symbol of just how deeply the country has been affected by the pandemic. In public appearances since contracting the virus, he appears hoarse, shaky, and frightened; reports of his hospitalization include at least two concerning drops in oxygen level and a cocktail of drugs that indicate pneumonia...

Trailing in the polls with only 30 days left before the 2020 election, the president has embraced a reelection strategy that is, even for him, profoundly stupid...

Trump is now trailing with every age group of voters and is underwater with senior citizens — a voting block that helped him immensely in 2016. He is trailing by increasingly large margins in every swing state and [Biden] appears to be pulling away in Florida and Pennsylvania. A landslide defeat grows more likely by the hour…

“[Y]our enervated, pastel-filled new life in Florida…”

NYC to Florida: Drop dead.

************

(UD thanks Jon.)

The Tricks of Memory

“Larry Kramer wrote The Normal Heart while staying at the Inn at Little Washington,” UD told Mr UD as they talked about him after his death.

“What? Hundreds and hundreds of dollars a night, and then meals for hundreds and hundreds of dollars? I doubt it.”

“I read it in Reports From the Holocaust. He was looking for someplace quiet. He said he loved their little courtyard garden.”

“How did he afford it?”

“Well I guess he made a lot of money on Women in Love.

Thinking about it, though, Mr UD maybe had a point. Eating all your meals at the Inn at Little Washington?

So UD went paging through Kramer’s book, and here is what she found:

I had returned not only from Europe, but from Cape Cod, where I had written the first draft of The Normal Heart, and I was on my way south, to an isolated log cabin in Little Washington, Virginia, loaned me by old friends, to write the second draft.

Whoopsies.

From your lips …

… to God’s ears.

Trish Dishes

In front of a graphic reading, “Coronavirus Impeachment Hoax,” [Fox host Trish Regan] accused Democrats of creating “mass hysteria to encourage a market sell-off” and sowing fear about the virus “to demonize and destroy the president.”

‘What’s more fraught is Birch’s declining to see mental illness as something capable of treatment or productive intervention. Carol and Anna both undergo electroconvulsive therapy, and Carol has sporadic access to talk therapy. Nothing helps.’

A reminder, from a New York Times review of Alice Birch’s “clear-eyed and comfortless” new play, of the value of art that goes against the grain.

Dershowitz sex case closed.

I’ve disproved it more than anyone’s ever disproved an allegation… Nobody in history has ever disproved a case as convincingly as I have.

Pervy.

Donald Trump, Ken Starr and Alan Dershowitz have joined together in a pervy, hypocritical cabal to argue that Trump did not smirch the Constitution.

‘“They were supposed to take their harsh revenge against America, not the people,” wrote Mojtaba Fathi, a journalist.’

The fog of war.

UD doesn’t watch these things, but…

… in a story about the Golden Globes, she notes that Ricky Gervais said this to his Hollywood audience:

You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg.

A canny comment, and quite true: As UD has pointed out before on this blog, it’s rare for our stars to have attended even a little bit of college.

(Gervais himself earned upper second-class honours in philosophy.)

Jonathan Miller, 1934-2019

There is a sort of stoicism about Europeans, a belief that the human situation is pretty bad anyway and that it can’t be put that much righter than it is; and I think that America is much more based on the expectation that things can be fixed… There’s a sort of stoical nihilism which is part of the European idea, which says “Well… It’s a wreckage. Find some shelter somewhere… and wait until that lot’s blown by.

Sisyphus, L.A.

A story for our times.

The Song is Ended…

but the melody lingers on.

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