8 thoughts on ““No More”? Like the Last Four Years?

    • I doubt he even knows what “contrition” is.

      I took that picture at the beginning of a 15 mile bike ride through my ruralish Hunterdon County neighborhood, where Trump signs outnumber Biden signs by maybe 5:1, usually accompanied by Blue Line flags, or “Back the Blue” paraphernalia. It gets wearing after a few miles (less). All this Trump advertising sits on gigantic, government-subsidized plots of “preserved farmland” surrounding mansion-sized houses and farms: a 21st century manorial countryside genuflecting before its Stuart monarch.

      I guess this kind of talk makes me a Jacobin among the Jacobites. Incidentally, the first short story I ever wrote had a protagonist named Robert Peters, an alienated but ferociously resentful suburban youth wishing to right the wrongs of an unjust world. He failed in the end, I forget how. Got in trouble with the law or something.


  1. I was recently dining at an outdoor restaurant and a pair of bikers (the Harley kind, not the Schwinn kind) cruised by, horns blaring, with the same banner trailing behind one of the motorcycles. It’s our natural habit to see an ostensible act of political expression to try to interpret and evaluate the political message. But in this case, my advice is for anyone reading this to put away your Froot Loops Decoder Ring, move on with whatever semblance of a life you can still salvage after 4 years of genocide by executive malpractice, and take whatever action is within your power to get the Trump administration out of office (not just voted out, but actually out out).

    Do you remember that Japanese heavy metal band from the mid-80s, Loudness? They were a one-hit wonder, with the one hit being a song called “Crazy Nights,” which combined a ferocious three-chord riff with lyrics that demonstrated a shaky beginner’s attempt at using the English language (e.g. “Come on get on your seat!”). The chorus of the song features a crowd repeatedly chanting “M. Z. A.!” What is M.Z.A.? What does it stand for? Is it something too subversive or prurient to spell out? The band later said in interviews that when they were recording the song, they knew they wanted to have a part where they chant something, and in a demo session, the singer chanted “M.Z.A.” – three totally random letters, with hopes of their coming up with something cool to take its place by the time of the final recording. But the band had neither the ability nor the occasion to come up with anything, so in the final version of the song, they figured they might as well go with M.Z.A.

    That’s what “Trump 2020: No More Bullshit” is. You can analyze “Trump 2020: No More Bullshit” as rigorously as you want, and I’m certain you’ll never make even glancing contact with any real meaning. It’s a mental fart written into a slogan. Much as the Kardashians are famous for being famous, Trump supporters are Trump supporters because they are Trump supporters, at least in the realm of discourse. They regard it as their “kampf” that people in the outside world seek grounds, logic, or justification from them with askance. They have no idea what they’re talking about, but they know they want to say it right in your face, in the most provocative way possible.

    M.Z.A.!!! [Doo-doo-doot Doo-DOO-Doo-Doo] M.Z.A.!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had, indeed, forgotten “Loudness.” But I returned to them, with gratitude for your suggestion. They look like Motley Crue, but sound like the Scorpions. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a drum track quite as complicated as this one. What time signature is this guy in, anyway?

      Girl in a kimono chanting “MZA” is a nice touch. Forges a connection with ancient Japanese tradition. Ending with a Rising Sun flag is a little dubious, but maybe more a tribute to The Animals than Emperor Hirohito.

      The “MZA” thing works. I don’t care what it means, or that it means nothing. What’s important that I am the hero tonight. I’ve always wanted to be a hero, and now I am. Took all of four minutes.

      It’s too bad I live in an HOA where it’s against the rules to put a political sign on my lawn, but if I could, I’d put up “MZA” in gigantic letters.


    • I do find the insistent ostentatiousness of these Trump supporters one of their most irritating qualities. How many people need constant reminders of what country they live in? Does anyone think that there’s a dearth of American flags cluttering up the skies? I’ve never wanted to burn the flag until these assholes came along. Yeah, we get it, you’re true blue (or true red, or true red-white-and-blue) Americans, and we’re not. Now could you shut the fuck up about it, already? Point made. Yes, we’re all America-hating antifa communists. You needn’t repeat yourselves ad nauseam.

      Instead of burning the flag, I sometimes feel like making a flag that has the COVID-19 death count on it. Unfortunately, I don’t know how to sew, and the death count isn’t stable enough to put on a flag.


      • Yes. I think the point here is, there is a time and place for insistently shouting utter nonsense in other people’s faces, and that time and place is 1985, at a Japanese hair metal band concert. Not 2020, amid an overabundance of complicated, deadly national and global problems that need solving.

        My COVID-19 Death Flag would feature a giant coronavirus on top of the “Don’t Tread On Me” snake, and in the place of “Don’t Tread On Me” it would say “U.S.A. – Get Sick And Die.” This generation’s AIDS quilt.

        My personal favorite WTF lawn sign these days is the one with the blue line that says “I Support This Line.” I can’t tell what the hell this means. The blue line symbol historically has signified a cop dying in the line of duty. So what exactly is the line that’s being supported? The line separating cops from the civilians they serve? Is the person saying that when cops get killed in the line of duty, that they’re kind of into it? To make matters even more confusing, these signs are invariably posted right at the property line of the person’s yard. Is that the line they support? Is it that they support the idea of cops keeping the unwashed black and brown masses away from their property? Can’t tell. The subtext is clear enough, though. They’re meant as a retort to BLM signs. Which is a lot like responding to a famine by proclaiming your support for the sun.

        And, finally, enough with the fucking POW-MIA flags. In all my years and all of the thousands of these flags, signs, and bumper stickers I’ve seen, I’ve never – not even once – witnessed any of the bearers of the symbol doing one thing that could be construed as helpful engagement with the cause of reducing or alleviating the burdens of POW’s or MIA’s anywhere in the entire world. For all the flak leftists get over the issue of “virtue signaling,” there is no more hollow and disingenuous act of virtue signaling than flying the POW-MIA flag. In my experience it’s most often a thin front for the white nationalist jingoism of the Bikers for Trump crowd, people whose North Star boils down to a Rambo revenge fantasy.


        • I hadn’t even thought of the POW-MIA flag as virtue signaling, but that’s exactly what it is, and it’s far (far) more ubiquitous than any left-wing sort of virtue-signaling (and to my mind, more offensive). But I don’t think it’s merely a front for white nationalist jingoism. It’s become normalized as a supposedly conventional form of patriotism, as conventional as flying the American flag itself. It means, “We support the troops–no matter what they’re doing, where they are, or why.” It flies in front of the shopping center where I get my groceries, and in front of the car wash nearby–neither white nationalist establishments to my knowledge. (Well, on second thought, the owners of the shopping center do play a constant loop of country music on the PA, so who knows.The employees at the car wash are almost all Hispanic, but I don’t know about the owner. Welcome to Hunterdon County, where “you never know.”)

          The function of flying the flag in those places is appeasement. It’s no different from the signs that business owners put up during a riot, proclaiming solidarity with the rioters. Except with a slight twist: “Yes, we believe in the same bullshit as you! Now come on in, and buy something!”


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