A photog and His Corner

Old people and literary types will have heard of Thomas Mann.  He was a German author born in 1875.  He won the Nobel Prize in literature in the 1920s and he belonged to the Modernist school.  Back in the 1970s if you had a high school English teacher who was especially perverse he would assign a book of Mann’s called “Death in Venice and Other Stories.”  Now the title story “Death in Venice,” is vile.  It’s the story of an old German writer who has a premonition of death and goes to Venice to feel young again.  He has an infatuation verging on pedophilia for an adolescent boy that mercifully goes unfulfilled and then to the reader’s great relief the protagonist dies.  The only legitimate reason to read this story is for law enforcement profilers to gain a better understanding of pedophile motivation.

One of the other stories in the book is called “A Man and His Dog.”  It is autobiographical and describes Mann’s life in a suburban/rural area of Germany.  He chronicles the walks he takes with his approximately German Shorthaired Pointer dog Bashan.  We hear about the landscape, the flora and fauna and the farmland occupants of his little world.  It is without a doubt, the best thing in the story collection and I’ve always envied his opportunity to share a slice of his world and life in such a congenial narrative.  It really is a pleasure to read.

So, even though I keep German Short Haired Pointers, I can’t do what Mann did.  I don’t have his facility for felicitous phrasing.  But I’m a lot funnier than he was.  So, from time to time, I’ll address things in a post that have very little to do with politics, photography or science fiction.  When that happens, I’ll assign them to the category “photog’s Corner” and that will be a warning sign of irrelevance to the primary foci of this blog.  Caveat emptor.

 

photog

Trump vs Twitter Ban

Dramatis Personae:  President Trump – (PT);   Melania Trump – (MT);    Vice President Pence – (VPP);    Mad Dog Mattis – (MDM);    Rachel Maddow – (RM);   Kim Jong Un – (KJU);   Russian President Vladimir Putin – (RVP);  Rosie O’Donnell – (ROD);  George Will – (GW);  Warning Announcer – (WA)

 

Scene 1: White House West Wing; 8am Friday; First Family living quarters

PT – Schmoopey!  Schmoopey!  Schmoopey where are you?  I need your help more than ever before.

MT – I’m right here Schmoopey, do not despair.

PT – Schmoopey, this is a national emergency, Twitter has banned me.

MT – Schmoopey, is this indeed an emergency?  Twitter seems to me to be not an emergency.

PT – Of course it is.  Without my twitter feed how will I get out the truth?  The failed New York Times and fake news networks will lie unopposed and Americans will fall into panic.

MT – This is true.  How can I help you in the saving of the nation.

PT – I need an idea to force them to restore my Twitter account.

MT – But you are the great leader.  They must obey or you will crush them like ants under your giant feet.

PT – Sadly, that is not how it works.  Apparently, the US government is not allowed to assassinate US citizens except if a Democrat is President.

MT – Too bad.  That would be convenient.

PT – You’re telling me.

MT – Yes, I am telling you.

PT – (sighs heavily) … Anyway, I can’t do that so I need a good idea to fix this.

MT – You must speak to the very wise men of government. President Vice Mike and the Mad Dog.

PT – You’re right again Schmoopey, those guys have been sleeping on the job long enough.  I’ll put a fire under them and get something useful out of them for a change.  After all I can’t do everything all alone.  And I’ll get Putin and Kim Jong Un working on this too.

MT – Get them, get them.  Make them fix this.  Go Schmoopey, you are truly wonderful, Mr. Leader.

Scene 2; White House Bunker, Teleconferencing Area; Same Day 6 pm.; President Trump, Vice President Pence and Defense Secretary (Mad Dog) Mattis are seated in virtual conference seats with life sized images of Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un facing them.

PT – Okay, so that’s the problem.  I’ve been banned from Twitter and I have to get back on.  What are my options.

VPP – Mr. President, what seems appropriate is a strongly worded editorial in the major daily newspapers, the Times and the Post, declaring the unfairness of this decision by Twitter.

PT – Low energy, Pence.  Next.

KJU – Nerve gas attack on Twitter owner’s dog.  Get message across with small gesture.

PT – Interesting, but let’s hold the nerve gas in reserve right now.  There’s a whole treaty about that sort of thing plus PETA can be a bear to deal with when they get antsy.  Next.

RVP – The correct play is hack their servers and block all other feeds but yours for two weeks and then demand a billion dollars in cryptocurrency to restore their service.  Plus special forces should occupy the first three floors of their headquarters and annex it to the Russian Federation.

PT – Also interesting.  But none of that annexing jazz.  Americans are pretty attached to the territory.

RVP – Suit yourself.

PT – Next.

MDM – Mr. President, I think I’ve got an idea that should provide you with the short-term ability to get out your message and long-term will force Twitter to restore your account.  And my plan has the added advantage that it allows you to work within the confines of the US Constitution and all other applicable US laws.  Plus, no humans or dogs will be terminated.

KJU – You must really be mad dog if you so picky about nerve gassing them.  You big baby.

RVP – Why so boring Mad Dog?

PT – Kim Jong Un, Vladimir, thank you for your help.  If we need a backup plan I’ll be in touch.  (the images of Putin and Kim disappear but not before Kim flips Mattis the bird)  Alright Mad Dog you put together your team and Mike try to be helpful to the team.  You know, I can’t do everything myself!

Scene 3:  The following Monday evening;   The Set of the Rachel Maddow Show; Rachel Maddow is at her desk and facing a large television screen on which appear the various guests she interviews.

RM – Hello everyone, we’ve got our usual line up of inspiring progressive stories and tragic conservative stories but before anything else we need to jump onto the biggest story of the week.  Donald Trump has been banned from Twitter, permanently!  I’ve assembled a panel of brilliant and objective thought leaders to objectively explain to you why it’s perfectly reasonable for Twitter to decide that Trump is too racist and evil to be allowed to tweet.  My first guest is an esteemed former Republican and originator of the bow tie and glasses look that I myself envy so much, the estimable George Will.  (Will appears on the screen looking both pompous and ill at ease at the same time)

GW – Thank you Rachel.  And if I may preface my remarks with a quote by the great Negro League pitcher Satchel Paige, “Avoid fried meats which angry up the blood. If your stomach disputes you, lie down and pacify it with cool thoughts. Keep the juices flowing by jangling around gently as you move.”

RM – I believe that is cultural appropriation.

GW – If it is, I’ll warrant I can lay it at the feet of the Trump presidency or hacking by Putin.

RM – Probably.  Okay, continue.

GW – What Satchel said about fried foods is the advice that Twitter is acting on.  Trump is the irritant like the fried food and Twitter has removed it and that will pacify our blood and give the nation cool thoughts.

RM – That’s fascinating coming from a conservative.

GW – Obviously, Rachel you’re still working under the fallacies of the old paradigm.  After the conversion to the new Will paradigm shift all of these seeming paradoxes disappear.  For instance, under the old fallacious viewpoint my opposition to the Republican president would appear to be unconservative.  But once you shift your point of view to the Will perspective you realize that real conservatism is what you find on MSNBC.  Real conservatives conserve the values that thrive in the new conservative universe.  The universe of Twitter and Facebook.  And once you embrace this new knowledge you realize who the real leader of the conservative movement truly is, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

RM – I always suspected as much.

(suddenly a federal emergency interruption flashes across the screen and a warning announcer speaks)

WA – We interrupt this broadcast to bring you this important message from the President of the United States.

PT –   Rachel Maddow is a nincompoop who really needs a better haircut and wardrobe.  Very unfair and fake news.  Also, very boring and unattractive.

WA – That concludes this warning of the emergency broadcast network.  We return you to the regularly broadcast program already in progress.

RM – What the (bleep) was that?

GW – Apparently Donald Trump has lost whatever tenuous grip he had on reality and is now satisfying whatever impulse his id dreams up with complete …

(suddenly a federal emergency interruption flashes across the screen and a warning announcer speaks)

WA – We interrupt this broadcast to bring you this important message from the President of the United States.

PT – George Will is a pompous doofus who couldn’t play golf on his best day but pontificates about it endlessly.  His breath is horrible and he farts on TV all the time.

WA – That concludes this warning of the emergency broadcast network.  We return you to the regularly broadcast program already in progress.

GW – What the (bleep) was that?  (Will disappears off the screen leaving a test pattern in his place.)

RM – We seem to be having technical difficulties but let’s bring on the next panel member, Rosie O’Donnell.

(O’Donnell appears on the screen in an outfit that resembles a slightly tight fitting burlap sack.)

ROD – Hello Rachel.  It seems like it’s been a long time since you invited me on the show but let’s stay on point.  Donald Trump is a dangerous maniac and removing him from Twitter is the least that can be done to stop him from destroying the world and even the universe.  He is responsible for global warming, ozone depletion, overpopulation and hate crimes against all at risk groups.

(suddenly a federal emergency interruption flashes across the screen and a warning announcer speaks)

WA – We interrupt this broadcast to bring you this important message from the President of the United States.

PT – Rosie O’Donnell is undeniably the worst human being to appear on the View and considering how awful most of the broads on that show are that’s saying a lot.  She is so filled with rage that in order to transport her to events she must first be put in the Hannibal Lector restraints with the mask and straight jacket and the two-wheeler.  And she’s gotten so fat that she can no longer bath indoors but instead needs to be hosed down outdoors in the Bronx Zoo elephant paddock.  But the elephants must first be removed to avoid panicking them.  Hello Rosie.

WA – That concludes this warning of the emergency broadcast network.  We return you to the regularly broadcast program already in progress.

ROD  – (bleep)ing Trump I’ll (bleep) (bleep) the (bleep)ing (bleep) (bleep) (bleeeeeeep)!!!  (Rosie is last seen attacking the camera with her teeth then the feed goes dead followed by static.)

RM – We’re going to take a break now and go to commercial when we come back I’m sure we’ll have all this sorted out.  (once the cameras stop Maddow drops her head to the desk and sobs uncontrollably.)

Scene 4 – White House Bunker, Teleconferencing Area, Tuesday 6pm, President Trump sitting at the control board of the audio-visual system watching various feeds from the network and cable news shows and scribbling down some notes for his announcement rebuttals.  Next to him is a very tired and disheveled Mike Pence.

PT – Mike what rhymes with Tapper besides crapper.  I’ve already used that one.

VPP – Mr. President I can’t even think straight anymore.  It’s been more than twenty-four hours since we started this.  Can’t we take a break to sleep.

PT – Not yet Mike.  We’re very close.  I can tell they’re ready to cave.  I heard Jim Acosta is in the rubber room over at Washington General Hospital.  Apparently, he wandered in saying something about not being the enemy of the people.

(the phone rings and Mike Pence answers it)

VPP – Mr. President, it’s the CEOs of Disney, NBC-Universal, CBS, Time-Warner, Netflix, Amazon and the Home Shopping Network.  They want to surrender unconditionally.  Well except for HSN, they want to see if they can extend your subscription for three years at a really good rate.

PT – You tell those nitwits that the only way I’ll stop is if they reverse my Twitter ban and reinstate all conservatives they’ve banned in the last four years.

VPP – They’ve agreed.  Bezos purchased Twitter and fired the whole department in charge of persecuting conservatives.

PT – Good.  Oh, and tell them no more limit on the number of characters in my messages.  It’s really very lame.