A Clown in the Moonlight

It’s hard to find the words to describe how depressing last night’s presidential debate was.

For the record, I like Joe Biden. I think he’s been a good president and is fundamentally a decent man. I don’t mind that he’s 81 years old — what I mind is that he looked like a deer in the headlights for the entire 90 minutes, struggling to complete a sentence while his opponent glibly and confidently spouted an endless stream of lies.

That man — the orange one, don’t make me say his name — cannot become president again. I can’t take it.

It’s not just what he’ll do — which is bad enough, and who can even say how bad it will actually be — but what he represents. He’s tapped into the darkness of the American soul in a way that feels almost occult. It’s a bit hard to conceive of him as a maleficent mage, given what a fucking goofball he is, with the bronzer and the hair and the long ties. But then again, as Lon Chaney said, there’s nothing funny about a clown in the moonlight.

What really scares me is how many of my fellow citizens are willing to jump on that train to hell. As Kris Kristofferson said, don’t you know he’s the devil? Don’t you know he doesn’t keep his deals?

At this point the question may be moot. It is entirely likely that the darkness, once unleashed, will survive even his demise — which, I keep reminding myself, can come at any time. He is also very old! He eats junk food and doesn’t exercise! His life is very stressful! How long before the Stark Fist of Removal comes for him?

What a happy thought! And look, the sun has broken through the clouds. Time to go out and cheer the hell up. In truth I already feel a bit better for having vented a bit. Live long and prosper, people.

Bands I’ve Seen (updated, 2024)

The last time I updated this I wrote:

The way Cecil does this, with the names of the bands along the left side of his blog and thus easily updatable, is probably smarter. This way I’m going to have to post a new list every year or two for the rest of my damn life.

That was 14 years ago. A lot of water has passed under the proverbial bridge since then, a lot of shows have been attended, a lot of brain cells have died.

But this seems like a good time to revisit it as I have no tickets to anything upcoming in hand, and nothing much of interest on the radar. (This is a particularly bad summer for live music. I mean… Limp Bizkit is back!) Since I had some tinnitus earlier this year, it seems like a reasonable time to take a break and live a little in the past.

I’m sure to miss a few things due to the brain damage — especially since ticket stubs are no longer a thing — but I’ll do my best.

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Reading Report, May 2024

Books Acquired:
Shogun, James Clavell
Americana, Don DeLillo

Progress Made:
White Light/White Heat: The Velvet Underground Day-By-Day, Richie Unterberger

Books Finished:
Star Trek: Log One, Alan Dean Foster
Wise Blood, Flannery O’Connor

Reading sci-fi is funny sometimes. Alan Dean Foster’s Star Trek: Log One begins like this:

Veil of stars.

Veil of crystal.

On the small viewscreen the image of the Milky Way glittered like powdered sugar fused to black velvet.

Here in the privacy of the captain’s cabin on board the Enterprise, James T. Kirk had at fingertip’s call all the computerized resources of an expanding, organized galactic Federation in taped and microfilmed form.

That’s right, “microfilmed.” I guess it’s easy to look back now and say it should have been obvious even then that everything would be digital long before the 23rd century. (I probably didn’t know that in 1974, but I was 7.)

Doesn’t it seem ridiculous on the face of it that a starship would be carrying microfilm? But you come across these kinds of anachronisms everywhere in science fiction — which I guess just points up one of the truisms about the genre, that it’s really about the time it’s written in, not the time it depicts.

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