My old friend Adrianne often calls me on Sundays to catch up, and she did this past week. Of course we talked about The Only Thing Anyone is Talking About These Days ™, with all its assorted craziness. I have to be stingy with Washington Post links, because they’re pretty good about enforcing the 10-articles-a-month thing, but I really must draw your attention to two of them – this one, about a disturbed woman who is Trump’s No. 1 fan, and the frankly insane appearance of the candidate himself on Saturday night in Pennsylvania (where the disturbed woman lives! Coincidence? I think not!).
I had just hung up the phone when it occurred to me that sometimes, only Bill Murray can put it into words.
I honestly feel very bad about Melanie, the woman in the first story. Life has dealt her a raw deal, and she lacks the coping skills to make it better. I don’t think she’s typical of Trump voters, but she’s certainly a rather intense concentration of their worst traits, isn’t she? And there are so many people willing to take advantage of her emotional fragility and, shall we say, tenuous grasp on reality. Get past the stuff up top, about what she believes, and read about her life. It’s hard not to feel pity.
As for Herr Trump, well, talk about a tenuous grasp on reality.
Prediction: After the election, he’ll continue to hold rallies. And people will come. I’m not sure how he’ll make them pay off, but he’ll figure something. Guys like that don’t give up the grift easily, and he seems to feed off rallies in some strange way. He really sounds like he’s about to go off the deep end, though, doesn’t he?
Halfway through the statement, Trump took a nearly 20-minute-long break to cover a range of topics, including these:
— He reflected on how his movement has “the smartest people… the sharpest people… the most amazing people.” He said the pundits — “most of them aren’t worth the ground they’re standing on, some of that ground could be fairly wealthy ground” — have never seen a phenomenon like this.
… — He recounted how the “dopes at CNN” and “phony pundits” refused to acknowledge how well he was doing during the primaries. “Then we started getting 52 percent, 58 percent, 66 percent, 78 percent, 82 percent,” Trump said, not making clear what those numbers mean. “And they just didn’t understand what was going on.”
— He said Clinton could not fight bad trade deals or Russian President Vladimir Putin because “she can’t make it 15 feet to her car,” alluding to video that showed Clinton buckling as she unexpectedly left a 9/11 memorial service early. Her doctor later said she had pneumonia. Trump then imitated Clinton by flailing his arms and jostling side to side. He walked unsteadily away from the podium as if he were about to fall over. “Folks, we need stamina,” Trump said. “We need energy.”
— He claimed that he has a “winning temperament” while Clinton has “bad temperament.” Trump continued: “She could be crazy. She could actually be crazy.”
When are the Trump endorsements going to start coming? You know they’re out there, being written by sweaty men and women who are, just this once, thanking God that editorials are, by tradition, unsigned. They hope they can get away clean. We’ll see.
Does anyone think the tax story will change anything? I don’t. It won’t change the polls, anyway, but I enjoyed reading this how-we-got-the-story story, just the same.
So, how was everyone’s weekend? Me, I got started on what I expect will be a multi-month affair — cleaning the basement. Multi-month because I can’t stand to do it all at once, and prefer to ruin an hour or two of a succession of weekends. I opened a box that was sealed and marked, in Alan’s handwriting, “Nancy’s letters.” Found this:
More from my vast collection of purloined letterhead.
There were also letters, one from my first boyfriend, after we’d broken up. He wrote that he still loved me and hoped to earn back my respect someday. (We’d split up over his drinking.) Alas, he died before we could be reconciled, in a one-car fatal. Which seems as good a transition as any to the bloggage, which starts with this great Jon Carroll remembrance of a recently deceased friend, who was also his AA sponsor. Great sponsor, difficult friend:
I found that the program worked. Not entirely, because I will always be an addict, but better. And it was Pamela who brought me that. It was Pamela who made sure I went to meetings; who framed the issues in a more useful way; who took my telephone calls at any time in the evening. I was just one of her sponsees, and her phone rang a lot, and she always had time. She was just a miracle. Her sponsees adored her. I adored her.
I didn’t drink. Stuff got better.
But things change. After 15 years or so, I slowly stopped going to meetings. Part of was the God thing; I was an atheist. “Are you drinking?,” Pamela would ask. “Then don’t worry about it. AA doesn’t care.” And, officially, it doesn’t. But then someone at a meeting says, “God never gives you more than you can handle,” and people in the metal folding chairs nod their heads and murmur, and I don’t say, “that’s demonstrably not true. Example one: death,” because even though you’re supposed to be honest, some kinds of honesty will alienate you from the group.
They were estranged in recent years, although Carroll’s wife befriended her and was, in fact, the one who found her body. There’s a nice passage in there about forgiveness, but I don’t want to give away the store. Read it yourself.
This Scott Adams takedown Alex posted over the weekend is great. What a maroon.
Finally, mankind’s battle with raccoons is not going well. The raccoons are getting smarter, as any person who’s ever taken them on knows too well.
And so another week looms ahead of us. Mine will be simultaneously fast-paced, vexatious and fun. Hope yours is, too.