Shoot Out



Just dropped my son off at school. He was getting ready for his special ed class's Power Hour, where students get to show off their special skills to their classmates. Will's is cartoons. The kid has preternatural talent in that area. Truly. Over the weekend he came up with -- seemingly on the spur of the moment -- a "toonumentary" (just made that word up: part cartoon, part documentary) on my life as a younger sibling, which Will relates to. "Older siblings suck" is one of his go-to lines (though, truth be told, he has one of the sweetest older siblings on the planet). Will works his stuff out through cartoons. It's both a brilliant coping mechanism and a possible future career. Needless to say, I see many cartoons in his future. But I digress...


As I was making my way up to the bluff, I listened to Michael Schulman, staff writer for the New Yorker, retell his reaction to the "slap heard 'round the world," as the playwright Jeremy O. Harris called Will Smith's disturbingly-inappropriate-but-entirely-predictable reaction to Chris Rock's comic insult of Smith's wife. Talk about toxic masculinity. Talk about taking the black male community a few hundred steps back in terms of gaining much-deserved and much-belated respectability. I mean, who does that?!? You'd think a world-wide star like Mr. Smith would have a thicker skin. Apparently not. Apparently he thought it was his place to stand up for his wife, who he shares an open marriage with, by clocking a man who just insulted her on international television. I get it. He-bear and all that stuff, but this?


It was entirely predictable because (as is my wont to mention as often as I can) the Trolls are winning. They are getting the upper hand one lie (or body bag) at a time. King Troll of America (aka Donald) and his BFF, King Troll of Russia (aka Vlad), are undeterred in their collective will to take over the world. Trolls of the World Unite! indeed. And their lesser minions (no disrespect to the Minions) are marching in lock step to the unofficial anthem of Trolls, "Another One Bites the Dust," by Queen:


There are plenty of ways that you can hurt a man

And bring him to the ground

You can beat him

You can cheat him

You can treat him bad and leave him

When he's down

But I'm ready yes I'm ready for you

I'm standing on my own two feet

Out of the doorway the bullets rip

Repeating to the sound of the beat

Another one bites the dust

Another one bites the dust

And another one gone and another one gone

Another one bites the dust yeah

Hey I'm gonna get you too

Another one bites the dust

Shoot out


In the most recent issue of the British Telegraph, an article titled "Inside the Wagner Group: 'Death is our business -- and business is good'" tells of a group of Russian mercenaries who are wreaking havoc (or trying to) in Ukraine as they attempt to carry out their special assignment to assassinate President Zelensky. Apparently they do this sort of thing for a living (as mercenaries are wont to do) all over the world. And they are backed in this most recent endeavor by none other than the reputed wealthiest man in the world, King Troll of Russia, Vlad himself. It is a dark and disturbing article about the menacing ways of sick and twisted men in the world who own guns -- very big guns. If you're a James Bond fan, this is SPECTRE (Special Executive for Counterintelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion) come to life.


The American version of the Wagner Group, essentially an amalgamation of Far-Right extremist groups like the KKK, Aryan Cowboys, and the Base, prepare night and day to wreak similar havoc on American soil, all while being aided and abetted by Donald Trump and the likes of Tucker Carlson (one of the Far Right's chief propagandists), Ginni Thomas (wife of a sitting Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas), and dozens of sitting Senators and Representatives in Congress, not to mention the countless far-right radio heads who spew lies and hate for free on the FM/AM radio waves. And they don't intend to end their campaigns of vilification and nullification (to borrow words from MLK) anytime soon.


And to top my pleasant morning off, as I walked into my house to prepare for another day of building, I read a quick piece in this week's New Yorker online titled "Howl: Killing wolves has become a political act," by Paige Williams. Apparently a new law now allows people to hunt and kill or trap as many wolves as they can, and the opening caption, showing the head of a wolf on a stake, encapsulates the essence of the article: "A taxidermied wolf owned by Robert Roman, an Idaho logger who has a reputation for having killed nearly sixty of the animals. He says, 'It's so much fun to shoot'em!'"


And so it goes, on and on, from pimp slapping a comedian on stage at the Oscars just before accepting your Best Actor award, to the indiscriminate slaughter of thousands of wolves in order to spite the libs. From occupying the Capitol in Washington D.C. to occupying a sovereign country half way around the world.


Another one bites the dust

And another one gone and another one gone

Another one bites the dust yeah

Hey I'm gonna get you too

Another one bites the dust

Shoot out



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