Cleanup on Aisle Ulysses

IN HONOR OF BLOOMSDAY, CONQUISTADOR ASKED THE AUTHOR OF FINNEGAN’S WAKE TO COMMENT UPON THE CURRENT AMERICAN POLITICAL SITUATION.

James Joyce

COMES NOW PAUL, PAUL, a handsome lad with eccentric hair, a small triangle of it pointed down upon his brow, making him appear sometimes demonic, sometimes more demonic, who said you cannot make this stuff up and he is correct because no one on the seven continents, including Antarctica with its daft but pretty penguins, Antarctica, a land cursed and blessed with cold—and the cold is the curse; but it is such cold that it keeps the humans away, and the cold is the blessing—no one would have spun the tale of an unhinged tycoon who has touched the deep inner spirit or lack thereof of the people and they have thus anointed and appointed him the sage of the realm and now ask him to lead them into the future or the past—depending on their point of view and interpretation and level of nostalgia for an idyllic era that never existed—and, our unhinged one, all fecund in his nuttiness, despite of or because of that, he has been named the presumptive and presumptuous candidate for the party of elephantine capitalists, to battle against the also-presumptive and presumptuous candidate for the party of equus asinus capitalists, in

Continue reading “Cleanup on Aisle Ulysses”

Advertisements

Republicans vs. Trump: What Would the French Do?

THE FRENCH HAVE CHANGED THE MAKEUP OF THEIR POLITICAL PARTIES AND FORMED ALLIANCES AMONG ENEMIES MANY TIMES. DEMOCRATS SHOULD MERGE WITH ANTI-TRUMP REPUBLICANS TODAY AND CLINTON SHOULD OFFER THE VEEP SPOT TO RYAN. THAT’LL TEACH THE TEA PARTY THE MEANING OF MAJORITY RULE.

By Steve Silkin

WHILE EXAMINING the past week in U.S. politics, I realized that many people in both major parties are ready for a dramatic, monumental overhaul. Most people think a change of the proportion I’m suggesting can’t be done. But look at France.

The French do not get mired down in their history, even though they’re so proud of it. They have had five constitutions, unencumbered by any phobias about tearing one up and starting over. Then doing it again—and again. (As in: “Mon dieu, the last one was bad, but this one is even worse.” Plus, after the Nov. 13 Islamic terrorist attacks, they went into a back room and rewrote two paragraphs of the current one. The changes were ratified a few days later. The little controversy that erupted over that died out within a week.)

French political parties have formed, split, merged, unmerged, died and come back to life more times than I can count during the past 40 years. On the right, Jacques Chirac and Valery Giscard d’Estaing split into the RPR and the UDF in 1976. Francois Mitterrand in 1981 co-opted the Communists by merging them into his Socialist government. The country had been riddled by strikes. He named Communist ministers to the departments where the labor unrest was most crippling—transportation, health care, industry. Who were they going to strike against? Themselves?

Continue reading “Republicans vs. Trump: What Would the French Do?”