Popular Culture

My Maniacal Rant, Chapter Four, Part Four

Today, the ghost of Confederate general Stonewall Jackson possessed Jeff Sessions in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, as the Attorney General stonewalled America with Southern drawl and Southern defiance, disseminated liberally throughout the afternoon’s testimony. He made up new legal privilege—apparently, Sessions can anticipate the President’s use of executive privilege, if he believes it’s in his client’s best interests, within which we can also identify Jeff Session’s client as Trump instead of the country…because now Trump gets to claim executive privilege without actually claiming executive privilege. See! Trump’s bullet-proof!

We cannot keep playing this dangerous game. A White Nationalist killed two brave men in Oregon, stabbed another, and scarred two young girls in the name of hate. He appeared before a jury and started spouting about how his anti-Muslim ideology was American. This was a terrorist attack within our borders, and there was weak condemnation of this attacker from the White House, considering the fervor and passion Trump can potentially create with a wave of his tiny Twitter fingers.

Trump excoriated the Mayor of London in the wake of a truly gruesome terrorist attack. Is it “ridiculous” to assume Trump had targeted Sadiq Khan because he is Muslim, and therefore Khan represents the perfect Twitter-fodder for Trump’s ravenously anti-Muslim base? How horrifying to realize the answer.

Trump’s all over the map on foreign affairs lately. His love for Saudi Arabia likely inspired appalling ISIS attacks within Iran’s borders. It’s possible Trump thinks this is a great success because now Shiites are killing one another, and he can potentially claim political value out of created wars in which Muslims kill Muslims. Again, how horrifying.

This game Trump plays, where he’ll let you know when he’s good and God-damn ready…it is a waiting game in which he hopes dumb, ol’ America will just simply forget and move on to the next atrocity. If anything, he thinks of America as being infested with Kafkaesque Gregorian liberal worker cockroaches, and Trump’s the exterminator!…and Oh! by the way, on that note, let me just thank Fox News for not letting me down and never turning down the volume on your hatred of liberal America. Kudos!

We need to see through this farce, and speed up this lame reality show. Let’s stop stonewalling and get to the truth of the matter. This administration is doing damage by the day, and all Trump seems to offer is “Trust me. I’m going to make America great again!” This huckster still can’t have over 30 percent of Americans bamboozled, can he?

Sigh. At least Joe Maddon finally figured out a lineup that will produce runs for America’s team, and just like last season, the Cubs have been the perfect distraction to avoid overexposure to the horrors of Trump tonight. I’d like to shout out my allegiance to my country and my baseball team and my solution for the first:

Go America!

Go Cubs!

Go away Trump!

Scott C. Guffey, M.A.

The Maniacal Professor

My Maniacal Rant, Chapter Four, Part Three

I tried to water my lawn today to forget about all the bullshit I’ve been experiencing lately. There’s something about a nice green lawn and pretty, colorful flowers that appeals to me in this sad age of Trumpism. The problem was the temperature’s 95 degrees in Indiana today, and my water pressure’s low at the spigot, so I have to start early in the afternoon to make sure I get most of the yard. I spent a good amount of time thinking about deep stuff this miserably hot afternoon as my weak sprinkler dribbled on those crusty, crunchy yellow blades of grass…thinking about life in this country during this post-Comey testimony, pre-Sessions testimony American condition of tension and uncertainty.

It’s been about a month since I submitted final grades from the past spring semester, and I’ve been worrying about my lack of an income and Trump’s effect on my country. These two things may be mutually exclusive, but I can’t help but find the connective tissue, much like a floundering fish who has stuck itself on the shore, gulping air desperately while flopping on sun-dried mud…i.e., a situation of its own making.

I’m particularly frustrated because the mistakes I made while teaching last semester have become glaring to me while I reflected in the intolerant heat today. According to student evaluations I read weeks ago, I had a minority of students who became frustrated because I opposed Trump openly in the classroom.  I’m still not sure if I did the right thing. Should I have lightened up on my criticism of Trump, or should I have opposed him more stringently? I watched my cheap sprinkler slowly struggle this afternoon, and I managed to focus on the good stuff I did this past semester, like how I showed my students good, valuable humanist movies like Jeff Nichols’ Loving, Denzel Washington’s Fences, and Robert Redford’s Ordinary People. I remembered how a few prized students let me know how much they appreciated viewing those literary films in their college classroom. I smiled for a bit, but eventually I came back to wondering what the hell is happening in my United States of America at this awkward, contentious moment of dealing with a President who’s mentally-deranged.

Trump’s sucking the air out of the whole damn country right now, and considering his environmental policies, he’s definitely affecting the world’s young people’s chances to enjoy a good breath of fresh oxygen in the near future, no matter where they happen to live…

I don’t know if Jefferson Beauregard Sessions the Third is going to do the right thing tomorrow or not. He’s either going to admit that Trump told him to collude with the Russians, or he’s going to stonewall the Senate committee like Dan Coats and Mike Rogers did last week. Either way, this agony continues. Trump’s unapologetic to a fault, and the Republicans are willing to follow Trump in order to disgrace and dismantle the Obama legacy…unfairly and unjustly, I believe.

There doesn’t seem to be shit that anti-Trumpists like me can do except shake our fists and protest this rampant populism. The approval rate wavers from forty percent to thirty-three percent for Trump, but that doesn’t exactly represent a drop in his popularity. He’s still the tops for so many of my neighbors. These frustrating Mid-Westerners; these enabling Trump voters; these anarchists; these racist misogynists; these Breitbart Nationalists; these greedy, avaricious, selfish ‘Merican bastards and bitches, all of these Americans who still fit well into Hilary Clinton’s Basket of Deplorables: They all like what Trump is doing to the country, and they especially like how frustrated journalists, scientists, and teachers are at this painful American moment. They like how angry and frustrated I feel right now, and I feel my resentment for them continue to grow, despite my desire to love my American neighbor.

This American government sucks to high Hell. I hope Sessions does the right thing tomorrow.

Scott C. Guffey, M.A.

The Maniacal Professor

 

My Maniacal Rant, Chapter Four, Part One

As simply as I can express, within this American moment,…

There is some evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and this stubborn, ignorant President works against American interests throughout every Tweet, rally, and international meeting. Every. American. Day.

The Republican Party invited Trump within their avaricious party, most eloquently expressed by the Fox News network each insufferable day, because Trump was perceived as a winner against the Black President. Trump is a liar, pure and clearly, and there’s no way of changing that perception for sixty percent of Americans at this date. The other forty percent of America seem to buy the Fox News propaganda about “anything’s better than Obama.”

[Maniacal Professor’s Note: The morning after I published this blog-post, Roger Ailes, of Fox News died. I am no fan of his network, but out of respect, I have revised this essay, taking out some of the more inflammatory language toward Fox News and Sean Hannity.]

Personally, I masochistically keep waiting for a potential Messiah to arrive and save us from Trump, while simultaneously realizing that any simple idiot is more capable of being President than Donald Trump. Yay America!

Within America, we are many, many partisans who are tired of both parties and may be considering an alternative to the traditional political parties in 2018 and 2020. There’s a thirst for progressiveness within the citizenry, whether it’s a preference through liberal or conservative leanings. This coming movement may be mostly about social issues in the future (not the economy, which has become an ephemeral ghost of Ayn Rand’s worst nightmares!), and there’s certainly a potential for young voices within the American political process to speak, asking for compassion for our neighbor, rather than judgments based on the place of our American neighbor’s birth.

America’s not about your personal heritage. It’s about your individual contribution to the future of this country.

Trump has affected America negatively, but the product of his machinations remain to be determined, whether it be for four hard years of hard, practiced journalistic attention, or it be throughout an impeachment trial during the summer of 2017 that threatens to tear the country apart ideologically…

The Republican Party needs to find some compassion within their social policies, and the Democratic Party needs to cease their ideological purity, especially within the collegiate, legalistic, business-istic, and journalistic professional communities. America needs this to happen right now, for the little guy, not the investor.

My country is slightly in turmoil, yet I inherently know those who read my silly, little blog: All of you still love your country; you don’t want to leave your home and keep fleeing to an imaginary Utopia. We want to smile at our neighbor, not shoot our weird-looking neighbor with a gun for being nosey, or boisterous, or looking at someone’s woman, or whatever the fuck we keep insisting on the need to shoot each other all the freakin’, fuckin’ time….

Simply, I know America is more neighborly than judgmental. We are more agents than conformists. We Americans do not think sinister plots upon our neighbors, throughout the fifty states; instead, we hold up and help our helpless neighbor, not grind his chin to the dirt.

Trump is assuredly a mere speed-bump in American history, not a catastrophe. America will persist, despite Trump, and that’s worth investing some patriotic faith into our American institutions. It’s important to do so as American citizens, proud of our system of sharing wealth and community improvement.

This thesis, as inspired tonight after having watched our Congress slowly admit Trump’s liabilities, makes this turmoil, for me, a bit more digestible. I thought I’d share my thoughts on this highly turbulent evening, with love and hope for the future of the American people, within this very personal blog post.

Scott C. Guffey, M.A.

My Maniacal Rant, Chapter Three, Part Three

Once again, this should be simple to figure out, yet it seems so difficult to state bluntly about what happened here: America elected a Russian sympathizer as President of the United States of America.

This is probably because white-America thinks an alt-right, autocratic dictator would be better than the black, leftist humanitarian he replaced; also, women have no place at the head of American government, especially when the female candidate advocates Planned Parenthood, fair pay for all Americans, peace with our neighbors, and government-sponsored healthcare.

Putin had some good approval numbers here in America during the 2016 Presidential election, even with such obvious evidence of Russian journalists and political opponents being killed at the Kremlin’s doorstep, with the LGBT communities of Russia being oppressed and violated, and with strongly-mouthy female rock-stars jailed unreasonably as propaganda for a misogynistic government.

It should be obvious that Vladmir Putin wants to restore the Soviet Union…and perhaps a bit more.

The rumor is that Putin has a sex-tape with Donald Trump doing untoward business with a couple of Russian prostitutes.

My reaction is, “Who the fuck cares!”

We, as objective-minded Americans, have Trump clearly speaking on A/V recording, saying very clearly that he is a misogynist. The excuse of locker-room talk didn’t cover that Trump comment for me during the campaign, and I suspect all of the Americans who remember that bullshit may empathize with the following rationale:

I fully suspect a video exists of Donald Trump appearing within the same room as pornographic activity, and I further suspect if this video leaks into the American media, then nothing significant will really happen because of the leak.

His loyalists have already said, “So what? I’m not electing the Pope.”

Putin has nothing over Trump’s head. These two men have just found fellowship as ideologues who want to take over the world and plaster a white man’s name across the planet…kinda like Benji Netanyahu, who decided today to court the New World Order’s Boys’ Club for the benefit of a one-state Israel that creates second-class citizens of Palestinians.

We need to stop ignoring the state of our political system, America. If you’re a resident or consumer of these United States, then the events of the next year are highly relevant to your everyday American life. Don’t try to convince yourself otherwise, or you will be oppressed soon.

Here’s my American method of staying sane, as a 43-year-old Irish-American, Northwest-Indiana college instructor, who has tentatively managed over 100 college courses for over a decade now:

  • Do no harm to others.
  • Be patient in all things.
  • Never lose your temper.

Trump violates all of these edicts. He wants to be Vladmir Putin. He wants to be dictator of the United States of America. He wants to rob us of our liberty. He wants to bully his way, with the media’s help, creating a large wound through the concept of American democracy.

Just ask Trump’s 31-year-old Nazi counselor, Stephen Miller, who proudly shouts that Trump shouldn’t be questioned by other branches of American government, using the proper Nazi vocal inflection in all four Sunday news programs this past weekend.

If you’ve a problem with me invoking Nazism, then I’ll remind you that Adolf Hitler ran a political party.

Trump wants to rob Americans of their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I’d love to call myself a conservative Republican again, but the damn Republican Party keeps backing this Orange Fool…

Yet, the Democrats in my life keep insisting that existing policies are the way to go!…

So, as an independent moderate, who cannot wait for a third American party, who thinks absolutism is the true cancer of America, who feels more and more compelled to speak up in this American Apocalypse…

Resist.

Scott C. Guffey, M.A.

To Hell With This Journalistic Fast…

I love you all because I WANT to love my American neighbor, but I NEED to remind myself constantly about my American neighbor’s tendency to gravitate toward the way things used to be…and I’m not sure the way things used to be is the best way to go. We’ll all have to see together, but I’ll be damned if I don’t personally watch these next four years like an American eagle on the hunt, to pick the best potential metaphor…

Let me remind America about its tendencies: We suck about how old, white men dictate all the laws, aggrievedly weighted toward the historical needs of old, white men, and we totally suck about how Americans collectively dismiss the rights of women, black people, Mexicans, gay people…and how miserably old, white men ultimately fail at this task in their governance of the United States of America for the last couple centuries.

We should also understand, as Americans, how truly young we are as a country on the world stage…especially considering how quickly we became the global template of civilization on this planet…

…Also, please consider the fact that we have elected an ignorant old, white man to dictate the law in this country for the next four years, based on the fact that old, rich white men are emboldened and engendered to potentially create the most intelligent Americans among us…

…Please consider how this is utter bullshit, from a professor of utter bullshit…

…To be more confusing in my rhetoric: if Trump indeed uses his position as President to make enough personal money, while being able to control his Internet, Television, and Twitter identity fiscally, then it has inevitably qualified Trump to govern with such unqualified vitriol and absence of shame to display America’s new identity as absent of moral or ethical responsibility, as long as the rich get richer…and the middle class will undoubtedly become absent from the American identity…

…I fear for America’s identity…for my American Neighbor’s sake…despite the fact that my American neighbor probably voted for Trump…

…Trump represents the old American white man, re-taking control of the American Government, and I cannot help but think Archie Bunker’s taken over the White House this January.

We are most political in our conversation lately and historically at the local level, and that is where the most violent atrocities so often occur in all fifty States, no matter the time, class, or environment of the location.

Let’s not let Trump bring us to the American brink, please. He’s a dip-shit asshole, and I’m going to watch him vigilantly…as Fox News has convinced me is a very necessary evil, based on their vetting of Barack Obama over the last eight years. I figure Trump’s Twitter feed alone would prove what a moron he truly is, but Fox News has been at his side to assuage the uneducated American that Fox News is the only media outlet that presents fair and unbalanced journalism…

You see, I believe that Fox News is personally responsible for the atrocity that is the current Trump presidency…In the voice of Kathy Bates as Bobby Boucher’s Mom from The Waterboy: “Fox News is the Devil! Sean Hannity is the Devil!”

However, my basic disappointment for this year’s election results is simple: The concept of a good man is no longer Barack Obama, but Donald Trump.

This I feel is America’s greatest shame in 2016.

However, let’s remember that this has not been the first horrible President-elect to creep up on America; I imagine Richard Nixon was a horrible frog-in-the-throat for Democrats in the aftermath of November 5th,1968…but please understand, my online reader, that these next four years are truly unprecedented, and we need to be vigilant about our collective rights as Americans.

Be wary during this Trump Presidency. Vigilant.

Please and amen. Love to those who believe me, and hope for those who cannot comprehend what I write.

Scott C. Guffey, M.A.

My Maniacal Rant, Chapter Two, Part Ten

In my last entry, I wrote that you’ve gotta have faith…

…re-reading it tonight, I realize what a load of bullshit that was.

Donald Trump is our President-elect, and I’ve lost all my faith.

My faith in this country’s goodness, my faith in my family and neighbor, and my faith in my American-defined God: all of my good faith has been dashed to bits upon the Giant Rock of Entitled-White Man, Conservative-Christian, Blue-Collar Republican Stubbornness tonight.

Tomorrow in America is now officially terrifying. Congratulations, American voters. We will reap what we have sown.

This officially concludes the Maniacal Rant for awhile. I’m going to stop paying attention to the American experiment now. I’ll be too busy figuring out how to explain to my daughters how a simple, misogynistic asshole became the leader of the free world in their lifetime. God only knows how I’m going to muster the gumption to step off my porch into the American populace for the next four years…

With sincerity, peace out from the Maniacal Professor:

Scott C. Guffey, M.A.

The Cubs Go To The World Series

I remember my grandfather, Edward Guffey, as a Cubs man. He taught me about baseball; hell, he forced my father to play catch with me in his backyard in Lynwood, Illinois, when my Dad didn’t want to play with me…to make my father interact with me when he wasn’t sure how to do so because the father-son bond was somewhat awkward…I used to sit in my grandfather’s kitchen, with his candy corn and VIP pipe tobacco mixed together in the middle of the kitchen table, while we watched summer Cubs games during the Fergie Jenkins/Jody Davis/Ryne Sandberg years…I listened to Harry Carey and Steve Stone broadcast games with my Grandpa and Grandma and loved every moment of it…I learned how to cut grass on a ride-on lawn-mower while he watched from the back window, and listened to both of them about the history of Chicago baseball,  literature, and culture.

My grandfather was a carpenter on many of Chicago’s sky-scrapers, specifically the very dangerous construction of the elevator shafts. He saw some of his co-workers plummet to their deaths while building on the Hancock building and others. He had to un-screw a rivet from his hand one day, and he didn’t go to the emergency room like most sane other men would have done. He went back to work as soon as he could, because he was from Chicago…

…and he was a Cubs fan.

I love tonight’s victory, and it’s made me think about my grandfather in a most loving way. Have a great World Series, Chicago!

Scott C. Guffey, M.A.

My Maniacal Rant, Chapter Two, Part Nine

When we step out of the white noise and take a look from outside the media fish bowl, we can see that this election is not that hard to figure out.

This is not about being loyal to a party, or conservative versus liberal; blue-collar versus white-collar; or city versus country discussions lost to the rhetorical void of infuriating, frustrating American deadlock.

This is a vote for a moderate or radical President.

Trump’s going to throw a temper-tantrum from now until November 8th, which is guaranteed to continue after the election. He’s going to throw all kinds of shade and drum up anti-Hillary sentiment to the point of violence. The only thing moderate about Donald Trump—if you consider human fallibility to be a trait that needs moderation—is his tendency to snort on camera when he’s thinking, “Holy Shit! I’m really doing this!”

Clinton’s going to step aside, act cool, and hope nothing radical happens…like if she decided to scream at Trump on stage at this last debate, as I wanted her to do…because then Trump would inevitably shout, “See!! She IS a screaming harpy! Let’s not put her in jail! Let’s scream, ‘BURN HER!’ like they did in that Monty Python movie!!!” Laughter, applause, and a lynching follow…

Look. I get it. Hillary Clinton doesn’t inspire confidence, but Donald Trump is obviously the radical choice, and those choices almost always have consequences.

I’m not going to ask you to go out and vote, like most people seem to be broadcasting, most specifically at the youth, for whom I can testify are terrified at the “adult” government. I perfectly understand how much stamina it’s going to take to stay politically aware and go out and vote on November 8th.

Stay home if you want to. I’m willing to bet the ones who go out to vote are the Americans with the strongest feelings, understanding, and conscience for American values…

…and the one thing I retain from my religious upbringing: You gotta have faith!

Scott C. Guffey, M.A.

My Maniacal Rant, Chapter Two, Part Eight

White noise: According to dictionary.com, it is also called white sound, a steady, unvarying sound, used to mask or obliterate unwanted sounds…

White noise: This was the sound of Donald Trump’s voice for me after he deflected his advocacy of sexual assault by going full-Fox-News and dismissing it as just locker-room banter. I swear I saw a little Sean Hannity, whispering in his ear about how to make the so-very deplorable become so-very digestible for the Republican Base. Apparently, the American People should continue to let men tell them not to worry about guy-talk, or how it may lead to sexual assault…or just how it’s plain indecent and SHOULD NOT be dismissed as “locker-room talk.” Boys will be boys, so let’s move on… Trump told Anderson Cooper that the Clinton News Network anchor hadn’t heard properly what Trump said, and by extension, Trump told the American People that we didn’t hear him right either. His voice started sounding like the adults in the Peanuts world right off the bat, when Trump successfully deflected the most horrific recording released to the public of a Presidential candidate ever…The drone in my ears, I think, is my brain defending my soul from Trump’s corruptible white sound.

White noise: The barely audible cheer heard across the country as White America regained their champion after Hilary Clinton dropped the ball last night…

Scott C. Guffey, M.A.

My Maniacal Rant, Chapter Two, Part Six

I’d been reviewing all of the commentary on Trump this morning, and I had to step out onto my porch for a moment of reflection. I pondered how we have come to this point in our national discussion.

A loud pick-up truck did a partial stop at the intersection. In the back window, the owner had a slogan surrounding the American Flag. Across the top, it read, “God, Guns, Guys,” and across the bottom, “Made the USA.”

I appreciated the clarity of the moment.

My mother had called me, so I stepped outside so as to avoid the necessity of fulfilling my familial obligation to talk to my mother, knowing that picking up that phone, at this moment when Trump has finally proven he’s a sexually-deviant creature unworthy of our national respect, knowing that it’s just not a good idea to answer the damn phone and have to explain my political and religious ideologies to my mother…I just ran out of the room, and entered the sun-shiny outdoors for a quick breath…

…I was talking to God out loud on the back porch, and He showed me an American truck.

It was just not a good idea to answer the phone. My mother knows this, but she needs to hear my voice. I get it because I need to hear hers too, but I just have fallen into that awful trap where we’re screaming at each other…just too many times in the past…I can’t do it…

I can’t hear a defense of Donald Trump and the Fox News talking points right now.

After the truck passed from the intersection, I bartered with myself about listening to the voice-mail my mother left. I did this for a good half-hour, trembling like a pansy about talking to my mother.

The first thing that came to my mind the night before, after fully hearing the full audio and video of Trump’s conversation with Billy Bush, was that this will not matter to Trump voters. Then, I wondered if this would matter to the women in my family. Finally, I affirmed how it would matter to a world in which my daughters mature…

I decided to wait for my wife to come home and listen to the message from my Mom for me. I turned off the politics on the TV and watched some college football, but I realized I couldn’t focus on the game because I started irrationally creating scenarios where my mother was leaving a message, telling me she was so very sorry for actually suggesting Trump was a better choice than Hillary…or there was an emergency that occurred, and I was stubbornly not fulfilling my familial obligation of maintaining contact…or my mother was disowning me from afar.

I shouted aloud to no one in particular, “God damn it,” and I listened to the message.

She hadn’t heard from me since August, and she hopes that the reason I haven’t reached out to her is because of this election thing.

I had teared-up when I looked down at my cell-phone and saw my Mom was calling me, because I knew I couldn’t answer that bleeping phone, and she teared-up as she ended the message telling me that she loves me…

…I love you too, Mom, but I can’t answer the phone right now.

I hope you understand.

Scott C. Guffey, M.A.