Wednesday, March 29, 2017

What 50K per year gets you in Austin





I'm about to move out of my 800-sq-ft loud, roof-leaky apartment that I'm paying $1000 per month for; am seeking a duplex or small house around the same size. There's nothing out there! Today I drove by the above, offered for $1100 --- it was a shithole; in a crappy neighborhood on a crappy street.

https://austin.craigslist.org/apa/6062987291.html

But... but... I just got a raise! I make 50K per year! And this is all I can afford in Austin! A place where, as the tracks indicate, people feel the need to park on the front lawn.

Back in the '80s and '90s when I brought home $1234 per month, I lived in better places in Austin ($250 for a garage apartment in Hyde Park, $310 for a duplex on Rainey). And from 2000 to 2007, when I made about 36K per year, I lived in a neat house in a neat neighborhood that I paid $825 a month for.

I can't seem to get ahead. I now make 50K per year and I can't find a decent place to live.

Monday, March 27, 2017

SNL with Kristen Stewart: Totinos!

Kinda funny, kinda my real lesbian fantasy -- including the French-speaking part. :)

Torment (1944)

Wow! Thank you, Universe, for the meaningful-to-me film that I caught by accident because I couldn't sleep at 3am on Monday morning.

I came upon this film on TCM about halfway through, not having any clue what I was watching. In the first scene that I happened upon, The Lovers were beautiful and embracing. The Girl was scared. Ominous shadows on the walls. The Girl begged the Boy not to leave. More shadows (as dramatic as "Cabinet of Dr. Caligari") as he left; he had to study for his graduation exams (really!). 

I thought: It's a murder mystery. The Girl is about to be killed. Indeed, once her lover had left, she went about her shadowy apartment turning the light off and on. Once she'd gotten into bed, a shadowy figure appeared and she shrieked...

Now, I thought that the college boy would be blamed for a murder, etc. etc. Nope. She wasn't murdered. The Boy came back a day or so later... And so much more happened!

This film was surprising and, yes, wondrous, in its honesty. While watching to the end, I kept thinking, "I really love this film, but how in the world am I ever going to figure out who made this and who these people are?" Usually TCM films on so late have no summing up at the end, unlike their prime-time movies. This one did, though: Directed by Alf Sjoberg (whom I hadn't heard of), and... the very first screenplay by Ingmar Bergman! There's a tipping point of trust with artists, as there is with people you actually know... I'd seen "Wild Strawberries" and "Fanny and Alexander" and "The Seventh Seal" and I admired the man's work, etc. But with "Torment," I found I could trust him.

What I thought was going to be a simplistic (and lauded) noir-type thing (based, obviously, on all of the shadows and staircases that I was seeing) turned out to be a psychologically nuanced and interesting slice of reality. There was extreme darkness, but not just for darkness' sake. And there was banal darkness, of the type that I recognized. But also, in the midst of all of the pain, was everyday human kindness and decency, and a real, unphony sense of actual hope.

After watching this, I felt I could breathe again. Sanity!

Read more: filmsufi.com


Friday, March 24, 2017

This is what I really like about Trump:

About as successful and Alpha as you can get, but still having fun and acting stupid in a truck.

Sick to death of 8 years of Obama's careful enunciations and moral proclamations and posing, and the media eating it up. All the while ignoring Obama's utter lack of qualifications for the job. (Community organizer? Part-time professor? State Senator? Really?) He looked and sounded good, so he must have been qualified for the Presidency AND the Nobel Peace Prize, right?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

I want surprises





Your sweet nature, darling
Was too hard to swallow
I've got the solution
I'm leaving tomorrow
And now as I stand
And stare into your eyes
I see safety there
I want surprises

What I really need to do
Is find myself a brand new lover
Somebody with eyes for me
Who doesn't notice all the others
What I really need to do
Is find a brand new lover

When you wake up tomorrow
You'll be all alone
All the love that we had
I have quickly outgrown
I wanted to stay, but I just couldn't do it
Couldn't stand there and put you through it

What I really need to do
Is find myself a brand new lover
Somebody with eyes for me
Who doesn't notice all the others
What I really need to do
Is find myself a brand new lover
Somebody with eyes for me
Who doesn't notice all the others

My other loves will tell you that
I'm nothing but a pleasure-seeker
And for once I really must agree
I need to leave you by yourself
And go in search of someone else
To satisfy my curiosity

Your sweet nature, darling
Was too hard to swallow
I've made my decision
I'm leaving tomorrow

What I really need to do
Is find myself a brand new lover
Somebody with eyes for me
Who doesn't notice all the others
What I really need to do
Is find a brand new lover

Visitation.

In this period of nothingness, have expected nothingness. Only, I got a treat last night. Ginny. A very long dream that I remembered almost nothing of when I woke up other than a good feeling.

I've been thinking cynically recently that, now that I'm over 50, it didn't matter that Ginny had died in '88. I'd wanted her to be young with. I'd wanted to explore Austin with her. To see bands, to get a first apartment with. Now that I'm over 50, I don't need her any more. I've done all of that "young" stuff by myself.

What I've been missing for the past decade or more, though, is the feeling of being loved. I've learned to live without it. What Ginny did when appearing in the dream last night was remind me: I was once loved. She left me emotionally years before she actually died, but for a few months in 1983, she loved me. I felt it. It was special, and that feeling has come back to sustain me over the decades, here and there. Not necessarily during my worst of times, but at surprising, unexpected times. Like last night.

During such long stretches of barren times, I've grasped on to anything --- TV shows like "Long Island Medium" or "Dead Files," for instance, which show how the dead attempt to contact the living. The former in a positive way; the latter, negative. I've not been attracted to the negative -- have usually been repulsed by it -- so don't fear that... But I've always wondered if some kind of spirit has been watching over me. My Me-Ma, for instance. Or Ginny. Or Joan. I wasn't loved at all by my family or by lovers, so wonder what has sustained me.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Kind of makes me sick.

89-1/2 B Rainey Street, 2007.
89-1/2 B Rainey Street, 2016.

I lived at the white duplex at the end of this road from 1991 to 1994. Two of my cats were buried in the backyard. (One, Toonces, was run over in front of me as I called her one morning before work; the other, Katie Scarlett, I found dead, run over, in my front yard when I got home from work.)

Rainey Street is now a hipster bar district. My cats' graves have long been bulldozed.

This period of time was very unhappy for me, despite how much I loved the place itself. Bad/very sad breakup. I was desolate nearly the whole time. I would walk down to the river (a short walk to the right) whenever I was upset. Got stopped by the police once at Thanksgiving when I was stalking around grimly ("I'm just in a bad mood, officer.") Also got stopped once by a couple of guys looking for a good time ("No thanks. I'm just in a bad mood.").

It all could have been much worse.

I miss my cats. I miss the hope I felt when I first moved into this place. What the place turned into is worse than my own specific sad memories.




Saturday, March 18, 2017

River Phoenix: Aleka's Attic - Across the Way 1991


Woke up Friday...

... to see the Trump sticker on my car tagged with a big ol' "Fuck."

I bought the sticker months before I bought my car back in July 2016, purely to inspire me to get out of a rut: I couldn't decide whether to keep riding buses or to invest in a car after 9 years of being without one (after moving to NYC in 2007). I told myself: If Trump wins the nomination (which wasn't at all a given), I'll get a car to put this sticker on. He did, and I did.

Friends/family/co-workers then warned me about the dangers of having a Trump sticker on my car: My car would be vandalized, etc. But I had the courage of my convictions. It's been 8 months since I first put the sticker on my new car. 4 months since the election. 2 months since Trump actually took office.

Friends told me they were surprised I hadn't been vandalized sooner. Sad.

In the next month that I'm at this apartment, I'll make sure I park my car where it can be seen from my window. And today, I ordered a pack of 10 Trump stickers online. If I catch anyone touching my car again, I'll recognize the person and then slap a Trump sticker on THEIR car.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Nostalgia: 2nd Presidential Debate 2016: Trump: "You'd Be in Jail"


Exclusive Look At President Trump's 2005 Tax Return | Rachel Maddow

Maddow was hoping for a scoop. But at the end of her spiel, turns out that Trump actually paid more in percentage of taxes than liberal darlings Obama and Sanders.

Can't stand this stilted, ignorant school-marm. I have a friend in Houston who loves her. No greater turn-off than Dumb.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

"Dark Blood" trailer (1993)

Phoenix died days after shooting his last scenes. 
He was viewed in coffin and cremated with that horrible latter-day John Travolta skullcap hair (and bad acting to match).
Judy Davis's chopped bangs (and her acting) were equally bad.

Friday, March 10, 2017

River Phoenix Interview 1988 (age 17)

After catching the pseudo-deep (but acclaimed at the time) "Running on Empty" (1988) a few weeks ago on late-night TCM, I hated the movie's smarmy fakeness ("we radicals may have maimed someone and we may uproot our kids every 6 months, but aren't we warm and friendly on birthdays") but was struck by Phoenix's performance. 

Phoenix died, age 23, at Hollywood's Viper Room on Halloween in 1993 an hour after a "friend" (allegedly John Frusciante of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) gave him a bad speedball in the club's bathroom. No moral to that story, right? Phoenix was doing drugs. Accidents happen. (Though I believe in accountability, whether in the mainstream or in the underground: Frusciante and/or his dealer should not have been prosecuted by The Law, but they should have been taken out by their own culture. But... said "culture" was so disgustingly passive and "nonjudgmental.")

The movie I remembered most of River Phoenix's was "Dogfight" (1991) with Lili Taylor, which I paid to see at the theater. "My Own Private Idaho" (1991) seems to have made the biggest impression in the alternative world. (I saw it at the theater when it came out, but it didn't resonate personally at all.) "Stand By Me" (1986), of course, made the biggest impression on mainstream culture; I also saw this at the theater but, again, thought the over-fishing for emotion was smarmy.

After seeing "Running on Empty" and wondering why I was so struck by Phoenix's performance, I bought a used bio online: "In Search of River Phoenix" (2004) by Barry Lawrence. One thing he pointed out, which I'd been aware of via brief Internet searches, was the fact that Phoenix's parents had been involved in "The Family of God" when he was growing up; the group was a cult espousing sexual relations not only between children, but between children and adults. River Phoenix later said that he'd had sex from the ages of 4 through 10, then deliberately decided to refrain from sex until he was 14 (when he sought his parents' permission before having sex with an 18-year-old girl).

In the below 1988 video, Phoenix (at 17) is asked by the interviewer about his relations with his parents. RE their dynamic he says: "We replace the guilt that most give each other when they're upset with real, honest feelings."

I wonder: WAS River Phoenix actually able to talk to his parents about his anger and guilt at the life that they'd brought him up in? WAS he able to express "real, honest feelings" or did he instead do drugs? (An addendum: His able-bodied parents had a hard time finding work in real life. Once River Phoenix got work in movies, he was the primary bread-winner for the whole family. His parents claimed that once he earned enough to free the family from society, that was when they'd all withdraw to live a life among nature, and when River wouldn't have to work any more. Scumbags.)

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Volvo S90 Luxury Sedan | "Song of the Open Road"



The first clue that something might be amiss: The car ad beginning with "Afoot..."

Song of the Open Road (1856)

1
Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.

The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well where they are,
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens,
I carry them, men and women, I carry them with me wherever I go,
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them,
I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)

2
You road I enter upon and look around, I believe you are not all that is here,
I believe that much unseen is also here.

Here the profound lesson of reception, nor preference nor denial,
The black with his woolly head, the felon, the diseas’d, the illiterate person, are not denied;
The birth, the hasting after the physician, the beggar’s tramp, the drunkard’s stagger, the laughing party of mechanics,
The escaped youth, the rich person’s carriage, the fop, the eloping couple,

The early market-man, the hearse, the moving of furniture into the town, the return back from the town,
They pass, I also pass, any thing passes, none can be interdicted,
None but are accepted, none but shall be dear to me.

3
You air that serves me with breath to speak!
You objects that call from diffusion my meanings and give them shape!
You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers!
You paths worn in the irregular hollows by the roadsides!
I believe you are latent with unseen existences, you are so dear to me.

You flagg’d walks of the cities! you strong curbs at the edges!
You ferries! you planks and posts of wharves! you timber-lined sides! you distant ships!

You rows of houses! you window-pierc’d façades! you roofs!
You porches and entrances! you copings and iron guards!
You windows whose transparent shells might expose so much!
You doors and ascending steps! you arches!
You gray stones of interminable pavements! you trodden crossings!
From all that has touch’d you I believe you have imparted to yourselves, and now would impart the same secretly to me,
From the living and the dead you have peopled your impassive surfaces, and the spirits thereof would be evident and amicable with me.

4
The earth expanding right hand and left hand,
The picture alive, every part in its best light,
The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it is not wanted,
The cheerful voice of the public road, the gay fresh sentiment of the road.

O highway I travel, do you say to me Do not leave me?
Do you say Venture not—if you leave me you are lost?
Do you say I am already prepared, I am well-beaten and undenied, adhere to me?

O public road, I say back I am not afraid to leave you, yet I love you,
You express me better than I can express myself,
You shall be more to me than my poem.

I think heroic deeds were all conceiv’d in the open air, and all free poems also,
I think I could stop here myself and do miracles,
I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, and whoever beholds me shall like me,
I think whoever I see must be happy.

5
From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,
Going where I list, my own master total and absolute,
Listening to others, considering well what they say,
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,
Gently,but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.
I inhale great draughts of space,
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.

I am larger, better than I thought,
I did not know I held so much goodness.

All seems beautiful to me,
I can repeat over to men and women You have done such good to me I would do the same to you,
I will recruit for myself and you as I go,
I will scatter myself among men and women as I go,
I will toss a new gladness and roughness among them,
Whoever denies me it shall not trouble me,
Whoever accepts me he or she shall be blessed and shall bless me.

6
Now if a thousand perfect men were to appear it would not amaze me,
Now if a thousand beautiful forms of women appear’d it would not astonish me.

Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons,
It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.

Here a great personal deed has room,
(Such a deed seizes upon the hearts of the whole race of men,
Its effusion of strength and will overwhelms law and mocks all authority and all argument against it.)

Here is the test of wisdom,
Wisdom is not finally tested in schools,
Wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it to another not having it,
Wisdom is of the soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof,
Applies to all stages and objects and qualities and is content,
Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things;
Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes it out of the soul.

Now I re-examine philosophies and religions,
They may prove well in lecture-rooms, yet not prove at all under the spacious clouds and along the landscape and flowing currents.

Here is realization,
Here is a man tallied—he realizes here what he has in him,
The past, the future, majesty, love—if they are vacant of you, you are vacant of them.

Only the kernel of every object nourishes;
Where is he who tears off the husks for you and me?
Where is he that undoes stratagems and envelopes for you and me?

Here is adhesiveness, it is not previously fashion’d, it is apropos;
Do you know what it is as you pass to be loved by strangers?
Do you know the talk of those turning eye-balls?

7
Here is the efflux of the soul,
The efflux of the soul comes from within through embower’d gates, ever provoking questions,
These yearnings why are they? these thoughts in the darkness why are they?
Why are there men and women that while they are nigh me the sunlight expands my blood?
Why when they leave me do my pennants of joy sink flat and lank?
Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?
(I think they hang there winter and summer on those trees and always drop fruit as I pass;)
What is it I interchange so suddenly with strangers?
What with some driver as I ride on the seat by his side?
What with some fisherman drawing his seine by the shore as I walk by and pause?
What gives me to be free to a woman’s and man’s good-will? what gives them to be free to mine?

8
The efflux of the soul is happiness, here is happiness,
I think it pervades the open air, waiting at all times,
Now it flows unto us, we are rightly charged.

Here rises the fluid and attaching character,
The fluid and attaching character is the freshness and sweetness of man and woman,
(The herbs of the morning sprout no fresher and sweeter every day out of the roots of themselves, than it sprouts fresh and sweet continually out of itself.)

Toward the fluid and attaching character exudes the sweat of the love of young and old,
From it falls distill’d the charm that mocks beauty and attainments,
Toward it heaves the shuddering longing ache of contact.

9
Allons! whoever you are come travel with me!
Traveling with me you find what never tires.

The earth never tires,
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first, Nature is rude and incomprehensible at first,
Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop’d,
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.

Allons! we must not stop here,
However sweet these laid-up stores, however convenient this dwelling we cannot remain here,
However shelter’d this port and however calm these waters we must not anchor here,
However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us we are permitted to receive it but a little while.

10
Allons! the inducements shall be greater,
We will sail pathless and wild seas,
We will go where winds blow, waves dash, and the Yankee clipper speeds by under full sail.

Allons! with power, liberty, the earth, the elements,
Health, defiance, gayety, self-esteem, curiosity;
Allons! from all formules!
From your formules, O bat-eyed and materialistic priests.

The stale cadaver blocks up the passage—the burial waits no longer.

Allons! yet take warning!
He traveling with me needs the best blood, thews, endurance,
None may come to the trial till he or she bring courage and health,
Come not here if you have already spent the best of yourself,
Only those may come who come in sweet and determin’d bodies,
No diseas’d person, no rum-drinker or venereal taint is permitted here.

(I and mine do not convince by arguments, similes, rhymes,
We convince by our presence.)

11
Listen! I will be honest with you,
I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes,
These are the days that must happen to you:
You shall not heap up what is call’d riches,
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve,
You but arrive at the city to which you were destin’d, you hardly settle yourself to satisfaction before you are call’d by an irresistible call to depart,
You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings of those who remain behind you,
What beckonings of love you receive you shall only answer with passionate kisses of parting,
You shall not allow the hold of those who spread their reach’d hands toward you.

12
Allons! after the great Companions, and to belong to them!
They too are on the road—they are the swift and majestic men—they are the greatest women,
Enjoyers of calms of seas and storms of seas,
Sailors of many a ship, walkers of many a mile of land,
Habituès of many distant countries, habituès of far-distant dwellings,
Trusters of men and women, observers of cities, solitary toilers,
Pausers and contemplators of tufts, blossoms, shells of the shore,
Dancers at wedding-dances, kissers of brides, tender helpers of children, bearers of children,
Soldiers of revolts, standers by gaping graves, lowerers-down of coffins,
Journeyers over consecutive seasons, over the years, the curious years each emerging from that which preceded it,
Journeyers as with companions, namely their own diverse phases,
Forth-steppers from the latent unrealized baby-days,
Journeyers gayly with their own youth, journeyers with their bearded and well-grain’d manhood,
Journeyers with their womanhood, ample, unsurpass’d, content,
Journeyers with their own sublime old age of manhood or womanhood,
Old age, calm, expanded, broad with the haughty breadth of the universe,
Old age, flowing free with the delicious near-by freedom of death.

13
Allons! to that which is endless as it was beginningless,
To undergo much, tramps of days, rests of nights,
To merge all in the travel they tend to, and the days and nights they tend to,
Again to merge them in the start of superior journeys,
To see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it and pass it,
To conceive no time, however distant, but what you may reach it and pass it,
To look up or down no road but it stretches and waits for you, however long but it stretches and waits for you,
To see no being, not God’s or any, but you also go thither,
To see no possession but you may possess it, enjoying all without labor or purchase, abstracting the feast yet not abstracting one particle of it,
To take the best of the farmer’s farm and the rich man’s elegant villa, and the chaste blessings of the well-married couple, and the fruits of orchards and flowers of gardens,
To take to your use out of the compact cities as you pass through,
To carry buildings and streets with you afterward wherever you go,
To gather the minds of men out of their brains as you encounter them, to gather the love out of their hearts,
To take your lovers on the road with you, for all that you leave them behind you,
To know the universe itself as a road, as many roads, as roads for traveling souls.

All parts away for the progress of souls,
All religion, all solid things, arts, governments—all that was or is apparent upon this globe or any globe, falls into niches and corners before the procession of souls along the grand roads of the universe.

Of the progress of the souls of men and women along the grand roads of the universe, all other progress is the needed emblem and sustenance.

Forever alive, forever forward,
Stately, solemn, sad, withdrawn, baffled, mad, turbulent, feeble, dissatisfied,
Desperate, proud, fond, sick, accepted by men, rejected by men,
They go! they go! I know that they go, but I know not where they go,
But I know that they go toward the best—toward something great.

Whoever you are, come forth! or man or woman come forth!
You must not stay sleeping and dallying there in the house, though you built it, or though it has been built for you.

Out of the dark confinement! out from behind the screen!
It is useless to protest, I know all and expose it.

Behold through you as bad as the rest,
Through the laughter, dancing, dining, supping, of people,
Inside of dresses and ornaments, inside of those wash’d and trimm’d faces,
Behold a secret silent loathing and despair.

No husband, no wife, no friend, trusted to hear the confession,
Another self, a duplicate of every one, skulking and hiding it goes,
Formless and wordless through the streets of the cities, polite and bland in the parlors,
In the cars of railroads, in steamboats, in the public assembly,
Home to the houses of men and women, at the table, in the bedroom, everywhere,
Smartly attired, countenance smiling, form upright, death under the breast-bones, hell under the skull-bones,
Under the broadcloth and gloves, under the ribbons and artificial flowers,
Keeping fair with the customs, speaking not a syllable of itself,
Speaking of any thing else but never of itself.

14
Allons! through struggles and wars!
The goal that was named cannot be countermanded.

Have the past struggles succeeded?
What has succeeded? yourself? your nation? Nature?
Now understand me well—it is provided in the essence of things that from any fruition of success, no matter what, shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary.

My call is the call of battle, I nourish active rebellion,
He going with me must go well arm’d,
He going with me goes often with spare diet, poverty, angry enemies, desertions.

15
Allons! the road is before us!
It is safe—I have tried it—my own feet have tried it well—be not detain’d!

Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen’d!
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn’d!
Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court, and the judge expound the law.

Camerado, I give you my hand!
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Joan Crawford, 1934

1934 publicity by Hurrell. I first saw this photo in 1986 or so from Walker's "Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Star" at my college library. I confess my transgression today: I sliced this photo out of the library book. I took it home with me. I taped it up to my wall. I looked at it constantly for inspiration in the midst of my 21-year-old angst.


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Temptation

I'd subscribed to "The New Yorker" since some time in the '90s. For at least over 20 years. The vast array of subjects. The usually impartial viewpoint of the author. I was always tearing out pages or poems for remembrance.

During the past Trump election cycle, however, the anti-Trump bias of the magazine became ludicrous. And intolerable to me. I'd never seen such a heavy-handedly biased consortia of articles. They tucked an anti-Trump reference into almost every corner. I'd formerly, for decades, trusted the magazine's viewpoint and artistic integrity. Now I wonder: If they could go so wrong about Trump, where were they going wrong earlier that I just didn't catch?

The last week of January was my last issue. I quit solely because of their intellectually dishonest biased treatment of Trump.

There's a bit of withdrawal. I miss the bursts of enlightenment that some of the articles contained. (As I said above, I'd often tear out pages and mark segments of them to remember as something profound to me.)

Today, I got an e-mail from the company, offering a renewed subscription for an extremely low price, less than half of what I'd been paying before ($50 per year as opposed to nearly $100). I was very tempted. But, no.

I like Trump, sure. And criticism of him is fine with me. But not "criticism" that degrades him and calls him "Hitler" and "fascist," and predicts the end of Western Civilization as a result of his presidency. Ridiculous. Especially in light of the fact that his most controversial policy statement has been the desire to strengthen US borders and not allow illegals in (and to kick criminal illegals out). That such a very mild declaration of what was once mainstream policy (and is the policy of almost every other country on earth, aside from EU members) has inspired such antipathy is disturbing to me.

After the reception of the New Yorker renewal offer, I almost accepted. And then I almost replied: "Maybe in 4 or 8 years, after you've perhaps rediscovered your integrity, your intelligence, and/or your soul."