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We began posting this Thanksgiving Prayer by William S. Burroughs and Gus Van Sant back in 2006, and quite a few things have changed since then. The deadpan list of Bloody American Triumphs is more relevant than ever in this annus futuit sursum maximus of 2018, and if Burroughs were with us today, he might look at his 1986 poem and wonder how he'd ever been such a starry-eyed optimist. Back in the anxious Thanksgiving of 2015 we fretted because the presidential campaign featured "serious debates over registering religious minorities and bringing back torture." Heh. We were so innocent back then, and didn't think that guy had any chance of really getting elected.



Now we find ourselves in the second year of an illegitimate presidency, with some shards of hope that the biggest Democratic midterm win since Watergate will at least mark the beginnings of accountability. It remains anyone's guess whether the Trump years mark the beginning of a new, degraded era where all politics will be terrible forever, or a temporary season of madness from which we'll emerge blinking in confusion, swathed in bandages and wondering why Canada keeps asking us if we remember anything, especially where we stashed Toronto.

Even if there are fewer than four Trump years, the cleanup from this mess is going to take decades, and a substantial chunk of the nation seems to have sworn fealty to the glib, pouting sociopath leading their torchlight parade. We said last year that we had no idea where the bottom was in American politics, but we hadn't reached it yet -- and that was a week before Trump generously endorsed the Senate bid of an accused child molester. Since then we've had children separated from their parents at the border (even now, over 140 have yet to be reunited, there are more than 14,000 children in jail, and the program has cost upwards of $80 million), Trump deploying the Army to Texas to boost turnout in the midterms, and the nation's alleged leader saying much nicer things about Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin than about France and Canada. Trump is lying more frequently and flagrantly than ever, and just before Thanksgiving, a federal judge accused the Mississippi legislature of "gaslighting." Oh, yes, and an entirely political party rallied around a Supreme Court nominee who was credibly accused of attempted rape. It's beginning to look a lot like Gilead.

The important thing to remember about The Handmaid's Tale (Spoiler warning!) is that it ends with an epilogue telling us that the Republic of Gilead came to an end, and in the future future, that dystopia has faded into a mere historical curiosity. After hell, things got better, so there's your happy ending.

Out here in reality, the judge didn't just say Mississippi was gaslighting women, but did so while striking down the state's restrictive new abortion ban. It remains to be seen what the higher courts, seeded with Trump appointees, will do.

Burroughs might well look at 2018 and have a good rueful laugh. He told us so. We had An American Dream, and we -- or at least a slim plurality of those of us who voted in just the right number of states in 2016 -- picked the guy who promised to vulgarize and falsify that dream until the bare lies were central to his "governance." Just enough of us were desperate enough to believe the comforting lies about how the coal jobs will come back, the manufacturing jobs will come back, the blacks will finally stop insisting their lives matter, and if only we're brutal enough, the browns will stop seeing the USA as a place of refuge. We've already become a place people flee as refugees.

We can only assume that Burroughs would say Donald Trump is the president America has been working toward for decades. Sure, three million more of us voted for the competent but sometimes excessively private lady with the emails, but that's not how our system works, so stop being a crybaby and suck it up. Also, show us your papers. Now we've got an entire political party that seems intent on finally sandblasting that pesky poem off the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. To be honest, we prefer people who aren't tempest toss'd or wretched refuse. We like winners.

Sick of winning yet? Or just sick?

And yet. For all the morons and cheats and petty churchy bastards who've forgotten Jesus was quite insistent that we must care for our neighbor, who is anyone who needs our help, we can still be thankful there are people who refuse to be shouted down by the idiots who are afraid of foreigns. We can be thankful there's no shortage of women who won't stand for a pussy-grabber in chief. We can be thankful for schools that give EVERYBODY eat, nurses who buy up and forgive patients' hospital debt, and a celebrity chef who fed Puerto Rico and then hired a Syrian refugee as a pastry chef. We can be thankful there are tiny babies we can guide through our big messy world with Mr. Rosewater's one rule for living on Earth: "God damn it, you've got to be kind."

So we'll be thankful anyway, even if at times we can only be thankful it's not worse than it is. We've got each other, there's a highly evolved descendant of a dinosaur in the oven, and the bed is covered with the winter coats of people we love -- or can at least tolerate for a few hours, although we may have to ask them to please not wear that MAGA hat to the table. If people are getting married and having babies in this crazy stupid world, then there must be hope. For all the petty small-minded terribleness and evil out there, we still have the option of laughter, because it sure as hell beats giving in to the bastards.

A happy and safe Thanksgiving to all Wonkers everywhere, and remember to Buy (almost) Nothing tomorrow.

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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OOH BOY HOWDY, The Federalist is on fire this week! Just this morning we told you about the hilarious Federalist column where one neo-Nazi's mom and dad are Democrats, ipso facto QED NEO-NAZIS ARE THE REAL LIBERALS, FUCKERS! Is America's dumbest woman whose name doesn't rhyme with Cara Snailin' over there being a total fuckin' Mollie Hemingway right now? Sadly, she blocked us on Twitter, so how could we possibly know? The answer is WE DON'T CARE.

But now we have a gem of the Federalist genre, an article written by a whiny-ass gay quisling conservative, who would like to chew on his blankie and whine about how much harder it is out there for a conservative than it is for a gay person. This is a subject we happen to have some knowledge about, because we are super gay! And we know a lot about conservatives, both firsthand -- being subjected to them every single one of our almost four decades of life -- and also from covering extremist right-wing Christians for a very long time. Particularly the kind that tell young, impressionable, vulnerable gay kids that they need to pray away the gay if they want Jesus to exercise some self control and refrain from sending them to a fiery hell for all eternity.

We clicked on the article with high hopes. See if you can spot why:

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pic via Glamour Shots, we mean this dude's old website

The House Education and Workforce Committee was all set to have a hearing today all about the horrors that a higher minimum wage would wreak on the economy. Horrors like rich people being slightly less rich. Horrors like business owners claiming they will have to fire people and charge $15 for a McChicken if forced to pay workers a living wage, which they won't actually do because no one will buy a $15 McChicken and they would go out of business if they tried that, and they already don't hire more people than the bare minimum they can get away with. Horrors like poor people not being "motivated" to work harder and get better jobs that do not pay them an amount no human being could possibly live on.

Alas, as Politico reports, it was not to be, as committee members discovered their big witness for the hearing, San Diego State University economist Joseph Sabia (pictured above in a Glamour Shot from his archived website), was kind of a wacko.

Sabia, as it turns out, once had a blog called "No Shades Of Gray," in which he wrote many columns of an extremely homophobic and sexist persuasion. In one of these columns, in 2002, Sabia was very mad about one man's lawsuit against several fast food giants for contributing to his health and obesity problems by failing to disclose the nutritional information of the food they sold. In retrospect, I think most people are now on board with these chains being required to post calorie counts and other nutritional information, but in 2002, Sabia was convinced that requiring them to do this would be an assault on freedom for all Americans everywhere. His response to this was to try and attempt a Jonathan Swift posture and suggest taxing gay sex, which he claimed leads to "disastrous health consequences."

Because sure, that's the same thing, basically.


In gay sex, we have an activity that is clearly leading to disastrous health consequences. What rational person would engage in this sort of activity? There is only one solution - let's tax it.

"Come on, Sabia," you say, "how are you going to enforce these taxes? Are you going to send government officials to peep into everyone's bedroom?"

Eventually. But first we have to mount the assault on Big Gay (no, I am not talking about Rosie O'Donnell). We can tax gay nightclubs, websites, personal ads, sexual paraphernalia, and so forth. Talk about a sin tax!!! We can cripple gay-related industries and get them right where we want them. All gay clubs will have to feature huge, flashing warning signs like "CAUTION: Entering this nightclub may increase your chance of contracting STDs and dying."

Big Gay clearly lures people into trying their "product" without discussing the risks to mind, body, and soul. The average Joe on the street does not understand all of the possible bad outcomes. I can almost hear him now:

"They said '100 percent hotties.' I thought that meant it was fun. I thought gay sex was OK…Now I have all these diseases. Big Gay has wrecked my life."

In the immoral words of Warren G, "Regulators!! Mount up!"

EXTREME SHUDDER.

In another 2002 article, classily titled "College Girls: Unpaid Whores," Sabia laments that feminists have led college girls to stop trying to be like the Holy Virgin Mary and instead to aspire to be more like that hussy Ally McBeal.

No, really.

As women have strayed from the church, they have replaced what is holy with what is temporally pleasing. For Catholics, the model woman is Mary, the virgin Mother of God. She is beloved by the faithful for her unflappable devotion to and trust in God, her nurturing of the Son of Man, and her deep love for all humanity.

Today's college girl looks to Ally McBeal, the trollops of Sex in the City, and the floozies on Friends to set their moral compasses.

The sad truth is that college girls are so desperate to find love that they are willing to degrade themselves to get it. But true love can only be understood in the context of the Word of God. Any other notion of "love" is secular and, by definition, limited and finite.

Not only that, but instead of going to college to find a husband, they have boyfriends. Boyfriends they have S-E-X with. And sometimes, not even that. Sometimes they have sex with people just because they want to have sex with people, and not even in exchange for Valentine's Day cards or money!


Additionally, other sex-based relationships have become commonplace. In recent years, a new and disturbing arrangement known as "friends with benefits" has emerged. In this arrangement, men are not even forced to perform the normal duties of boyfriends, i.e. flowers, Valentine's Day cards, rides to the abortion clinic, etc. Instead, girls consider these guys "just friends" whom they happen to screw every now and again. No strings, no attachments, no dinners. Just sex when they feel like it.

This type of arrangement is the next logical step in the direction that young women have drifted in the last few decades. These women have become unpaid whores. At least prostitutes made a buck off of their trade. These women just give it away.

How cute! He was like the ur-incel, basically.

Anyway, following the discovery of the posts, the House Education and Workforce Committee's GOP communications director Kelley McNabb told Politico that "members were uncomfortable moving forward on the hearing." A more optimistic person might think this was a step forward, that maybe those committee members actually thought it was bad to suggest that being gay means being a disease-ridden monster or that college girls are whores, but it's probably more to avoid embarrassment than anything else. Guess they'll have to start from scratch and find a crappy economist who will tell them what they want to hear about the minimum wage but who doesn't have an embarrassing Geocities blog in their past. Good luck with that!

[Politico]

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