GERTRUDE STEIN LOOKS FOR DONALD TRUMP

In 1934 Gertrude Stein was on a book tour of her native America after 30 years living abroad in Paris. After arriving in San Francisco, she decided to take a ferry across the bay to Oakland to visit her childhood farm and the house she grew up in on 13th Avenue, but when she got there, she found the farm gone and the house razed. She wrote:

….there was no there there…. Ah, Thirteenth Avenue was the same it was shabby and overgrown…. Not of course the house, the house the big house and the big garden and the eucalyptus trees and the rose hedge naturally were not there any longer existing, what was the use…

You may think it strange, but the words “there was no there there” conjured up a fantasy-picture, a vision in my mind, of an imaginary scene wherein a latter-day Gertrude Stein went looking for Donald Trump decades after they had been childhood friends, only to find that the boy she’d known had not merely been raised but razed, and there was no there there….

If you’ve ever given much thought to why people turn out as they do, perhaps the above whimsy may not seem so strange after all. Obviously, we’re not all destined to become men and women of unbounded fulfillment (however that may be defined), but was Stein looking for a man grown so full of himself, so far removed from there, what was the use? How does a man who would be king — or at least President — become almost a caricature, a pretender, if you will, to the prone, meaning those prone to embrace simple answers to complex issues/prone to settle for simplistic bombast over substance? His bandwagon may have many jumpers-on, but, to quote Warren Buffet, A public-opinion poll is no substitute for thought.

Humor and satire being my preferred manner of dealing with the theater of the absurd, I seldom write seriously about politics/politicians….but, with The Donald, seriously:  Where is the substance? Is there a there there?

In the end, it matters not, Trump deriders. You’ve heard of snake oil. Deal with it!

 

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DO YOU BELIEVE IN ATHEISTS?

ATHEIST HAS REPEAT NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCE

Never.
Again.

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

Although not an atheist myself, I believe they exist, and I’m not above quoting them….and what better day to do so than April Fool’s Day, a day of dubious origin and God-awful jokes? So, without further a-Dieu, I bring you the word(s) of Godless mortals:

I have too much respect for the idea of God to make it responsible for such an absurd world. -Georges Duhamel

When one person suffers from a delusion, it is called insanity. When many people suffer from a delusion, it is called Religion. -Robert M. Pirsig

I once wanted to become an atheist but I gave up — they have no holidays. -Henny Youngman

If absolute power corrupts absolutely, where does that leave God? -George Deacon

Eskimo: If I did not know about God and sin, would I go to hell?
Missionary: No, not if you didn’t know.
Eskimo: Then why did you tell me?
-Annie Dillard

I admire anyone who’s genuinely trying to achieve spiritual enlightenment and live a peaceful life. But religious dogma is a barrier to that. The last thing a dogmatist wants is for anyone to be enlightened, any more than a pharmaceutical company wants anyone cured. -Pat Condell

When did I realize I was God? Well, I was praying and I suddenly realized I was talking to myself. –Peter O’Toole

Christianity, as many religions, was just dreamed up by a couple people with really good imaginations, a lot of time on their hands, and even some “herbal” help. I mean, who would dream up half of that crap without being totally baked? -Jillian A. Spencer

Puritanism, n. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy. -Ambrose Bierce

There ain’t no answer. There ain’t going to be any answer. There never has been an answer. That’s the answer. -Gertrude Stein (when asked about God)

Oh, well. We’ll always have Paris.