Trump and his Fervent Ultraorthodox Base are…

… (as Elizabeth Bennet says about herself and Darcy) so similar. Both can be acidly vindictive rule-breakers; both live in a world of their own. Why so vindictive? No one will ever know.

Why in a world of their own? Eh. Who knows why many damagingly out-of-it haredim can’t think of anything better to do than stew in their super-spreader isolation?

As to the belle indifférence on Trump’s face as he flopped around, the other night, like the dying Quilty at the end of Lolita (“We rolled all over the floor, in each other’s arms, like two huge helpless children. He was naked and goatish under his robe, and I felt suffocated as he rolled over me. I rolled over him. We rolled over me. They rolled over him. We rolled over us.”), he has always lived in a grandiose fantasy world, and no one did the guy any favors, mental health-wise, to crown him the actual president of the United States. By this point, in his head, he’s Napoleon.

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

Both Trump and many ultraorthodox pretend that they are victims. Both sometimes seem drawn to violence. Both are nihilists – the atheist Trump poses for pious pictures with his evangelical Christian base and then tells his WH associates that believers are dumb pricks, losers; and the minutely ritualistic haredim often in fact seem spiritless, passively accepting their own and others’ untimely deaths.

Both Trump and many of his ultras, I mean to say, have ripened to something close to madness, and need to be subdued in the name of public safety. Mayor and governor have indeed stepped it up with the ultras, threatening a lockdown.

Is there, among Republicans, a Duke of Wellington?

Jumpin’ Jesuits! What the hell’s the deal at Georgetown University?

You name the scandal, one of America’s most Catholic educational institutions has a high-profile entry. Georgetown had more Varsity Blues bogus students than anyone else; its longtime tennis coach is just a plain old career criminal; a half dozen priests with Georgetown associations “have [recently] been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors.” It took ages and lots of pressure from students for it to revoke the honorary degree it gave to super-sexed Theodore McCarrick, a regular and adored presence in Georgetown’s chapels and classrooms. And so it goes.

And I mean yeah it really goes. Like every month. This month there’s the knotty little matter of one of its football players getting arrested for first degree murder.

Clearly the Jesuits running the school are weenies. A firm hand is needed, and UD recommends as next Georgetown president Pater Edmund Waldstein, a leader of the Adrian Vermeulen-sponsored Cathophate-to-Come, who would not hesitate to burn people at the stake.

“A Debate of Depravity”

Here’s one from a theater critic who gets it: He doesn’t mention the character this blog has been mentioning from the moment the current president took office: Alfred Jarry’s Pere Ubu. (Here’s last night’s debate. Settle in.) But in a short piece he makes two other stops along the Theater of the Absurd: Sartre’s No Exit and Carroll’s Wonderland.

And what in particular he gets is that Carroll, Jarry, and Sartre (throw in Beckett and Kafka and Ionesco) deal in tragicomedy – the grotesque mix of violence (“Stand back and stand by.”), farce, and despair that characterizes human beings abandoned by a world of meaning and spirit and therefore no longer human beings at all, only empty angry creatures mired in the thing we’ve got left when humanity vanishes: “primate-dominance.”

Still having trouble grasping the tragicomic absurd, the agonized incredulity we feel again and again at the spectacle of our shabby, vacuous, almost unbearably stupid world? Try this: Our country’s most intensely Christian, most deeply born-again, population, has anointed as its savior, its avatar of spiritual transformation and transcendence, a stillborn baby, one of the dead bundles tossed onstage in another absurdist drama, The Marriage of Bette and Boo. That’s what we’re worth! That’s the value of human life in a dead world!

And that’s why the theater critic writes this – of a political debate! –

No other presidential debate, ever, has been so personally painful, or made one feel one’s mortality more.

Why the hell does one feel one’s mortality during a presidential debate?

Because this husk, lent artificial animation with rouge and roughhousing, embodies our fears about about our own death-in-life — he’s Gustav von Aschenbach at the end of Death in Venice, a corpse painted and pomaded in an effort to disguise itself as infused with vitality, spirit, and meaning. The pointlessness of the debate, with Ubu doing his terminal rattle over the thing until time ran out, is the futility we feel when we allow ourselves to contemplate not just the death that awaits us, but the life-in-death of our absurd world. Mr Trump, last night, staged the personally painful possibility that nothing – including us – means, or is, anything.

A Presidential Debate with Pere Ubu?? From the start, UD has been with Nancy Pelosi: “Why bother.”

UD has been against debates – you don’t debate a lying ranting paranoid.

UD didn’t watch tonight. All the reactions she’s gathered – beginning with Mr UD’s and then the media’s – vindicate her. Masochists and nihilists who want to watch yet another venerable American tradition be shredded to shit in front of their eyes might have enjoyed this; they might enjoy the anticipation of two more identical events. The rest of us should hope that Pelosi’s common sense will now prevail.

******

Pelosi’s rolling her eyes. Why didn’t anyone listen to her?

******

[W]hat we had was Trump ranting, visibly angry, launching off on numerous digressions, lying. It was ugly, unhinged and exhausting – a good summary of Trump’s entire presidency.

******

“What a dark event we have just witnessed.”

Okay, so UD wants to issue an apology, a mea culpa, whatever, to Bandy X. Lee and other psychiatrists who were out in front months ago warning about Trump’s dangerous mental instability, and indeed calling for some form of congressional intervention in the situation before … before a nation had to watch a shit show that “scared America.”

They were right.

The President’s Song

Sing along with the president.

He went away and you hung around
And bothered me every night
And when I told you to take a drug test
You said things that weren’t very nice


My boyfriend’s back and he’s Rudy Giuliani
(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)
You better watch your back cuz he loves his little Donny
(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)
He’s telling everyone because he knows you have dementia
(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)
Go on back to the demo-rats that sent ya

………

You bombed the Twin Towers and your wife is really ugly
(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)
Dementia Care wants to make you safe and snuggly
(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)
George Soros told me that you’re actually a Jew
(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)
The covid virus was brought here by him and you
(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)

……..

You’re a big man now but he’ll cut you down to size
(Wait and see) My boyfriend’s back he’s gonna save my reputation
(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend’s back)
If I were you I’d take a permanent vacation
(Hey-la, hey-la, my boyfriend’s back) Yeah, my boyfriend’s back (La-day-la, my boyfriend’s back)
Look out now, yeah, my boyfriend’s back (La-day-la, my boyfriend’s back)
I could see him comin’ so you better get a runnin’ alright now (La-day-la, my boyfriend’s back)
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah (La-day-la, my boyfriends’s back)
My boyfriend’s back now (La-day-la, my boyfriend’s back)
Know he’s comin’ after you because he knows you’re a Jew now (La-day-la, my boyfriend’s back)

‘Can a sector that does not obey the law determine the rules for everyone?’

Covid emergency in Israel.

A group that violates emergency government regulations in a pandemic cannot be allowed to make decisions for the rest of the observant public who follow the rules...

Most of the people who pray and most of the synagogues are responsible and governable and follow the government’s decisions… [T]he most important task in preserving Judaism in Israel is for the state to stop letting the Haredim dictate the religious order.

**********

Headline, Haaretz opinion piece: Haredim Are Willing to Get Sick and Die, With the Help of Israel’s Leaders

If large groups of people don’t believe in empirical science, don’t respect state authorities, and are nihilistic in regard to the deaths of themselves and their loved ones, there is almost nothing an enlightened world can do to defend itself.

“[Covid is] communal in nature and now it’s a matter of getting them to understand that and getting all these folks to understand what they need to do to minimize the spread.”

Says the Rockland County executive.

Covid has been a loud global fact for how long? People have been trying to get the ultraorthodox to wear masks and stop partying for how long?

You are not going to get these folks to understand.

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

Theological teeth-gnashing here.

A timely reminder that the beloved people of this country have always vastly outnumbered the hateful.

[I]t is to the good of the whole, as well as to the interest of the individual, that everyone, who can, sets himself down to his business, and contributes his quota of taxes. [It] is one of the first duties he owes to his family, to himself, and to his country. Every amusement ought to be dispensed with, every indulgence curtailed, and every possible economy practiced, both public and private, until a revenue sufficient for the protection and good of the country is obtained, and the debt to public justice satisfied.

We are the heirs of Thomas Paine. We will find our way back to him.

We shall not see his like again.

But we have seen his like before.

‘NYC Virus Spike Continues in Jewish Areas of Brooklyn, Queens’

This is promising. Bloomberg is willing to state emphatically, in its headline, that one religious subculture is significantly to blame for the New York City spike. UD‘s co-religionists in NY and Israel deserve the rage being directed at them. And UD knows from studying these communities that nothing will make the miscreants among them change.

I have no idea what the solution is.

From your lips…

…. to God’s ears.

“Podcaster Katie Herzog tweeted: ‘My first act as an anti-racist will be sending my black son back to the orphanage.’”

LOL. As always, the best way to respond to stupid racists – in this case, an anti-white racist who attacks white people for adopting black babies – is to ridicule them.

That Professor Kendi heads an institute of anti-racist research is une ironie extrêmement riche.

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

And what a gift this guy has given the Genius of the Carpathians.

Look, ya gotta admit da guy’s got balls.

Trump criticised Obama for only paying 20.5% tax in 2012. A new NYT report shows Trump paid no income tax that year.


“Greatest tax cheat in US history.”

Costing More Lives: A Small Price to Pay.

The shuls of the hardcore Hassidic sects which make up the community that opposes any formal cooperation with the secular Zionist state were packed with men and boys. There were no “capsules” or even bubbles of polystyrene sheeting. And the police, despite being stationed very near by on the invisible border with Palestinian east Jerusalem had no thought of intervening… [A] large proportion of other ultra-Orthodox groups, in particular other Hassidic courts, have also been flouting the pandemic prohibitions on gathering in crowds in synagogues for months now, and on Rosh Hashana as well. Not only in Israel. Similar scenes exist in New York and elsewhere. And the infection levels in these neighborhoods are correspondingly higher…

Can [we] stand up to the unyielding nature of Jewish fundamentalism? …

The Haredim have a strategy for dealing with the plague. Change nothing. It may cost more lives in the short-term, but once this is finally over, they will have preserved their institutions and communal framework.

A praying mantis spent…
… hours on my window sill today, gobbling insects galore.
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