A NAME BY ANY OTHER NAME

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. –William Shakespeare

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When I was young, the above was one of the first truisms I remember coming upon which took me beyond the surface of its simple truth….a proposition, if you will, that by any other name would be as true. After all, what is a name but a representation of what must be named because how else are we to picture in common what is being referred to?  For example, if my name were Mister Muttonhead, I would still be me, though my name would be Mister Muttonhead, not Mister Muse (and I would still smell as sweet).

With that in mind, I thought I’d try my hand at furthering the Bard’s example by expounding on his original paradigm, to wit:

Flour by any other name would smell as wheat.

An alert cat by any other name would smell a rat.

An antique by any other name would cost far less.

The God of man by any other name would smell like WHAT’S UP WITH THAT.

Time by any other name would smell like a flier on life.

A duck by any other name would quack like the other name.

A Donald Trump by any other name would quack like an amuck Donald Duck.

Thanksgiving turkey by any other name would smell like a thankless (but not tasteless) turkey.

Such is life. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 

 

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WHO KNEW?

Who knew that….

JACK LEMMON COULD SING?

BRIGITTE BARDOT COULD DANCE?

RONALD REAGAN COULD ACT? Really.

DONALD TRUMP COULD LIE? Well, only whenever he talks or tweets. And, in his defense (as the aforementioned Jack Lemmon discovered),

 

SHORT AND (NOT SO) SWEET

Lately I’ve been (and remain) a bit under the weather, so rather than strain my brain trying to write something original, this post will quote from three book reviews which have something pertinent to say about the likes of our favorite President, either directly or by extension (book titles in caps):

KILL IT TO SAVE IT by Corey Dolgon

“Dolgon’s astute look at the conservative turn in US politics … offers a fascinating look at the phenomenon that made Donald J. Trump the preferred choice of many voters. The long-term fallout of this turn has many of us thinking far less critically than we should be–exactly as intended–and how and why we’ve learned to tolerate the intolerable.” –Eleanor J. Bader (reviewer)

UNDER THE COVER OF CHAOS by Lawrence Grossberg

“In damning detail, Grossberg here lays bare the deep roots of Trumpism. Rather than a break from some imagined pure, nuanced conservatism, Grossberg shows Trump’s manic nonsense is actually a continuation, the result of a long struggle between the new right and the reactionary right. Everyone should read this book if they want to understand the rise of authoritarianism in the United States.” –Henry Giroux (reviewer)

THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE FREE by Milton Mayer

An account of the rise of fascism in Germany from 1933-45. As such, “A timely reminder of how otherwise unremarkable and in many ways reasonable people can be seduced by demagogues and populists.” –Richard J. Evans (reviewer)

Upon further review, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

 

TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE, THAT IS THE QUESTION*

To see or not to see, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to look past
The slings and arrows of outrageous tweets
And excuse the lies and insults of our imperial Don,
So long as such doth advance our noble cause
And lead us back to the glory of righteous times,
Devoutly to be wish’d. Ay, there’s the rub:
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’opressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of dispriz’d love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the unworthy spurns,
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus devil-deals doth make cowards of us all
And enterprises of great pitch and moment
Lie paraded, bare and exposed for all but us to see.

*with appreciation, but no apologies, to Shakespeare

 

 

 

THE BARD ON THE DONALD

My April 22 post (MARK TWAIN ON DONALD TRUMP) was so well received that I’ve decided to give that theme (of holding up a mirror to The Tempest of Trumpian self-glorification) another go….this time, with the reflections of an even greater giant of literature: the Bard of Avon taking aim at the target of Twain and giving us his measure of the Tweeter of Twaddle. So, in case you haven’t given The Bard a second thought of late: straight from TAMING OF THE SHREW (filmed as KISS ME KATE), what say you….

and we’ll all know how….the Bard’s words speak to the Iago of Mar-a-Lago:

Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides. Who cover faults, at last shame them derides.

False face must hide what the false heart doth know.

Go to your bosom: Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know.

God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.

It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.

When we are born we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools.

 

 

 

DO YOU KNOW YOU?

I think self-knowledge is the rarest trait in a human being. –Elizabeth Edwards

Do you know you? Hard though it be to imagine, that is the one question I wish I could force Donald Trump to answer from deep within, even though I doubt he’s capable of giving it a second thought (much less, capable of understanding why anyone would want to). Seriously. Self-knowledge may well be “the rarest trait in a human being,” but I think most people his age might at least pay it lip service, even if it’s never been ‘their thing.’

Well, far be it from me to disturb The Donald’s absence of self-knowledge, so I’ll settle for posing some quotes on the subject to Trump’s better angels, who haven’t been seen since they were fired….but who, being better angels, haven’t given up hope of getting to him:

It is a sad fate for a man to die well known to everybody else, and still unknown to himself. –Francis Bacon

Some people really ought to know themselves; they never think about anything else. –Evan Esar

It’s not only the most difficult thing to know oneself, but the most inconvenient. –Josh Billings

I was a typical specimen: the mental contortionist, able to rise to almost every challenge placed before him, except the challenge of real self-knowledge. –Walter Kirn

What are you afraid of? Your fears are a treasure house of self-knowledge if you explore them. –Marilyn Ferguson

I’m afraid I’ve run out of good quotes. I’d explore for more, but a guy can only take so much self-knowledge before falling asleep.

 

 

 

 

 

A DAY EARLY AND A SCHOLAR SHORT

I just learned I’ve made the first mistake of my entire life (excluding the countless ones that don’t count — like, who’z kounting?). Why I am admitting this mistake, I can’t say — no one seems to have noticed it, so I have no reason to believe my seemingly unblemished record wouldn’t continue to leave all my adoring followers none the wiser. All right, if you must know, I’m admitting the mistake because of writer’s block; now I have something to post about, otherwise you would be staring at a blankety-blank screen.

No doubt you’ve heard the expression “A day late and a dollar short.” Well, my last post on April 24th was a day early and a scholar short: EAST MEETS WEST DAY was April 25 (not April 24), and the head scholar on my staff failed to catch the error. I have therefore fired said head scholar, for whom I’ve generously provided a letter of recommendation to the Trump Administration for the position of Secretary of Wealth, Edumacation & Hellfare — a position held since January by one Alex Azar, who is but the fourth such Sec since Trump became President, lo, these many moons ago. Their average length of service being under four moonths, the position should become vacant shortly; my bumbling former head scholar will fit right in and fill the vacancy with no one being the wiser.

Now, I realize that I appear to be putting the blame for my date mistake on the poor schmuck I fired, but as President of this blog, the bucks stop here….and so, dear reader, I take full responsibility for the poor schmuck’s error, and

I humbly ask that you accept this sincere apology for what it’s worth. After all,

Love you.