The Politico ticker says the deal goes down in less than three hours from now and so I thought it might be helpful to prepare a checklist for how to survive tonight’s presidential debate in Las Vegas.
1. Strap on the Hillary Headband
Millennials can be a little in the dark when it comes to some of the more nuanced outbursts of stupid that characterized reactions to Hillary before and through the first Clinton presidency, a fact highlighted in a long Paula Jones piece on the Daily Beast this week that noted how journos were feverishly cranking out Jones “explainers” to give the kids some context on what on Earth is Trump doing now? Even as we’re reminded of Bubba’s numerous indiscretions, hardly anyone seems to remember the Hillary Headband anymore, even as it, too, was a jump-off point for the relentlessly scandalous outrage that popped up as the Clintons oozed into the national consciousness, circa ’92: “Why is that woman wearing a headband!??!?!” No, really, people were really upset about this back then, in the same way people trashed Barack Obama for wearing a tan suit that one time. Sad. Naïve. Give me a break.
So I’m going to wear a Hillary Headband tonight, cut from the cloth of basic decency, not so much in Clinton’s honor, but so that my head might not come apart at the seams, so that my brain might not start oozing out my ears as this spectacle unfolds. I suggest similar measures if you are concerned for your mental health. Rub a little lavender oil on the headband too, it’ll help calm those nerves and keep you from throwing Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits CDs at the television. And remember, tomorrow is another day. Don’t stop thinking about it!
2. Tattoo the serenity prayer on your forearm and chant it over and over in the event that Trump goes nuculur and Chris Wallace chortles about Hillary’s butt.
The Reinhold Niebuhr prayer is quite a useful mantra in times like these, in a nation out of control with rage and bickering and death threats as the Ugly American who has come home to roost, like so many whining chicken-hawk bad losers.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.
You can always change the channel, you know.
3. Break out the raincoat.
Cruising around on the internet today, I noticed that veteran political reporter and author Joe Conason, of the National Memo, had offered a similar observation to that of veteran ape-lady Jane Goodall in a September Atlantic about the debates: Trump is acting like an angry loser of an ape, or a chimpanzee—and when simmering simians get that way, they start to fling their own poo. Watch out, America.
The poo-fling politerati has spoken, but I’ve been saying all along that once you get past the Hitlers and the Mussolinis, the Berlusconis and the Caligulas, the Milosevics and the Putins, the most apt historical comparison to Trump can be found in the figure of GG Allin, who, like Trump, lived to be hated.
Unfamiliar with the Geeg? Until his all-too-timely death in 1993, Allin was the scariest, craziest, sickest, filthiest, most depraved rock and roll performer ever. E-ver. He’d take the stage, get naked, take a crap, fling it at the audience, puke all over himself, smash beer cans in his face until he was bloody, masturbate wildly, punch the audience—to wild applause and adulation. Sort of like a Trump rally, no? For years, Allin promised to kill himself onstage on Halloween, 1998, until going out in a somewhat less dramatic fashion via a heroin overdose. But during his heyday in New York’s Lower East Side, veteran show-goers always knew that when you went to a GG Allin show—you better bring the raincoat. An umbrella couldn’t hurt either. I’d suggest that you have the full-body condom on hand, too, for tonight’s show. It could get very, very messy up there.
4. Scream, “It’s Rigged, It’s Rigged” at the television, especially because of Ohio.
Why am I playing into this readily debunked nonsense about voter fraud? Well, it’s because of the just-released 2017 list of nominees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. Yeah, there are some great and deserving bands and artists on the list this year—Bad Brains, MC5, Zombies, The Cars, Joe Tex—but let’s face it, the RRHOF isn’t so much a hall of fame as it is an “everyone gets a trophy” tourist trap designed to cater to the sensibilities of anyone who visits, no matter how lame or non-rock those sensibilities might be. Here’s a corporate institution that seriously believes that Journey and Tupac Shakur are worthy of rock and roll infamy, which is their business, of course. Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner can rig this however he wants to accommodate his Hootie and the Blowfish mandate to defraud the American people of quality rock and roll, but it’s a scam. It’s rigged. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a total fraud, and has been since its inception. You’d be naive to think otherwise, or as Jeffrey Lord would say, the moon landing actually took place in New Jersey. Capricorn Dumb!
I’m ranting my way to the point here, don’t worry. The point is that while the Rock and Roll Hall of Lame has annually anointed hit-maker mediocrity into the ranks of The Greats, it has consistently—and I would argue, deliberately, maliciously, and unpatriotically, not to mention foolishly—ignored the protean 1950s rock-and-roll experience that was Link Wray.
The Link Wray was terrific. I mean how do you ignore the facts that are staring you in the face, Ohio? Just look at that face. Sad. Pathetic.
It’ll be a real Rumble in Vegas tonight.