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Created by author


We have run out

of adjectives.

Deplorable, horrible,

incoherent, incompetent,

moronic, idiotic

narcissistic, apocalyptic.

We are always, now,

“shocked but not surprised.”

We debunk, refute,

fight conspiracy with fact,

watch the snake heads grow back,

no matter how many times

we slice them off.

We label his perversions


as if we can refuse them,

shovel his shit

back from whence it came

without getting covered in it.

We have run out of nouns.

Traitor, hater,

cheetoh, cheater,

and on, and on, and on.

And then there are

the sycophantic


of his Reign of Error enablers.

What do…

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Caravaggio meets Tissot

Thrifty Words 100 Theme Challenge #1: 100 Words…

Yes, and No

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By the author

While the label of “terrorist” certainly applies to the Nashville bomber, it is also not enough. Terrorism as it has long been defined seeks to advance a cause — even one that we may find evil or fanatical. I think that what we witnessed in Nashville is similar to what we saw from the Las Vegas mass shooter. An act of violence with no purpose but to express an inchoate but overwhelming rage. 99% of the time, this involves intentional killing — Nashville is a rare case in which an attempt was made to avoid casualties. Why the idea of…

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He put the idiot in Idiot Box

Trump is a like a sentient AI robot who must connect himself to his power source for at least four hours each day in order to function during the other twenty. That regenerative machine, of course, is the television, infusing him with lifeblood every moment he sees and hears himself on it. He established this addiction during his campaign for President, made even more intense by the euphoria he mainlined at his rallies, which he could relive over and over again on the DVR. If his favorite coverage was on Fox, he no doubt got even more of a rush…

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I tend to go through this same analysis in my head once a week: Trump all started with birtherism no… With the Tea Party no… With Bush v. Gore no… The rise of Fox and Talk Radio no… Newt Gingrich and the Contract on America no… Reagan, definitely the Reagan years no… Nixon’s southern strategy and law and order “silent majority” no… The military/industrial complex and the folly of Vietnam no… McCarthyism and the triumph of right-wing demagoguery no… America First and detention of the Japanese no… The rabid capitalism of the roaring 20’s leading to the Great Depression no……

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A year or so, when I was still working inside a post-production studio instead of at home, I had an idea. What if I wrote an interview of Trump, and then dubbed it into his mouth, in Russian, with English subtitles. Then I thought I would actually need a Trump-impersonating Russian actor so that the words came naturally out of his mouth — which fit the premise that Trump spoke fluent Russian.

Then the company I was working for got sold, and Covid happened. This grand idea was just too logistically unfeasible to pull off, and would require money I…

When You Imagine Trump Still Winning

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From “The Godfather”

For the record, there is a huge difference between guarded optimism and complacency. You can be heartened by the notable differences between 2016 and 2020, and still filled with overwhelming dread about the possibility that polls are wrong, there are so many secret Trump voters out there, the real October surprise is still about to happen etc. etc. Rather than dwell in a constant debilitating anxiety, what would happen if instead we developed a game plan for if the worst happens?

For the record, my preferred outcome in this situation is one that requires code words. Take your pick: Von…

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I have developed a theory that many Trump supporters have far more doubt than they’re admitting to, but that one of the obstacles to abandoning him is finding a way to understand their support for him in the first place. Think about it: Once you start to acknowledge the validity of the overwhelming amount of evidence that he is a corrupt, incoherent, incompetent narcissist who has no idea what he’s doing, it is hard not to acknowledge that he has been this person all along. Recognizing that he never deserved your vote in the first place involves feeling the intense…

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16 years ago, I was a month off from finishing a 9-month sentence for a various series of felonies including sales of narcotics and fraud, most notably, forging my own death certificate. This was the culmination of an inch-by-inch progression over the course of over a decade that would never have occurred except in the context of an AIDS crisis which upended all of my bearings and infused my choices with fear, grief and and the intense mental disorientation of living under the assumption of one’s imminent death year after year.

I also suffered from several addictions: to meth, to…

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I never understood how Trump’s contemptuous remarks in regard to John McCain’s military record (“I like the ones who weren’t captured”) didn’t immediately end his campaign for President. The fact that they didn’t revealed the emerging pathology of a growing base for whom this would have previously constituted the crossing of an inviolate line. It also marked the moment the vague nausea in my gut about this appalling human being began its transformation into the lacerating ulcer it is now.

Trump’s base has only one historical analog: The non-slave owning antebellum southern men willing to sacrifice their lives to defend…

Mark Olmsted

Author, "Ink from the Pen," about my 9 months using creativity as the ultimate survival tool behind bars.

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