He gave a farewell speech in which he blamed all the deaths on his watch on China, declared that his administration had given Biden a good foundation (he’s going to claim credit for any good that emerges in the next few years), threatened to be back “in some form” in the future, and then boarded a helicopter and flew away as Fox News played YMCA (???).

LET THE REJOICING BEGIN! No, not you, Joe. Get to work.

By the way, while you might want to sigh with relief that you made it through the last four miserable years, remember that 400,000 didn’t. They weren’t killed by China, either — they were murdered by Republican incompetence. Destroy that party. That’s your new mission.

If you must, here’s a bit of his speech, and that surreal send off to the tune of YMCA.

Now we wait for reality to slap his fans in the face, hard.


  1. DanDare says

    I’m hearing chat about the thugs possibly spliting into two parties. Any actual strength to that?

  2. consciousness razor says

    Sure there is, and the two parties will be called “the Republicans” and “the Democrats.”

  3. robro says

    DanDare — Trump is rumored to be considering starting his own party. That would split off a chunk of the Republican “base”. It might also split off some of the Democrat’s base but the effect of that is less clear. Given Trump’s presumed financial position, and his other legal difficulties, he could have difficulty pulling of a new party.

  4. voidhawk says

    Can somebody explain why the leader of a hyper-masculine cult with massive anti-LGBT tendencies chose ‘YMCA’ – a song famously adopted as a gay anthem – as his campaign song?

  5. raven says

    HE’S GONE!

    I’m not celebrating until noon EST, when he loses his power. The whole entire Trump regime needs to have a (metaphorical) stake through its heart and then be buried at a crossroads at midnight.

    By the way, while you might want to sigh with relief that you made it through the last four miserable years, remember that 400,000 didn’t.

    A lot of us had close calls and spent time in quarantine.
    There are millions of long haulers that won’t be able to forget the Trump years or the Covid-19 pandemic, no matter how hard they try.

  6. redwood says

    I think we need new mascots for the political parties. We can have the Dem Ducks, the GOP Gophers and, for his new party, the Trump Turds.

  7. says

    @voidhawk, they also played “Gloria” by Laura Branigan, which also makes no sense given the lyrics. The only thing I can think of is that Trump danced to “YMCA” at Studio 54.

    I wonder what the reaction would have been if they’d played this version of “YMCA” instead.

  8. cartomancer says

    voidhawk, #4,

    I was wondering that as well. I could have understood if they went with the VIllage People’s other big hit, Macho Man, because that one is much easier to take unironically if you happen to be clinically incapable of grasping cultural context.

    My only guess is that the Y stands for young and the C stands for christian, two things the orange bastard is desperately trying to convince his followers he actually is. Either that or he genuinely doesn’t know that it’s a gay anthem, and was almost certainly written as such. Such monumental incuriosity would normally seem far-fetched, but not with him.

    Mind you, it is a bit… jaunty for a presidential farewell speech. It’s certainly kitschy enough for his presidency though. I don’t think the US has had a kitschier leader, and not the stylish sort of ironic, artistic kitsch either, the tacky, artless and cheap kind.

  9. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @4:
    Let me hypothethesize:
    He’s using YMCA for his theme to steal it back from the LGBT by getting himself associated with it, expecting them to drop it like a burning ember.

    never mind, he can’t think like that, He clearly doesn’t understand the lyrics after the phrase Macho Macho Mannnn.
    more like Reagan using Born in the USA as a campaign theme, without listening to the lyrics after the opening line

  10. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    re @10
    excuse me for mixing up two songs he has denigrated, by association

  11. birgerjohansson says

    I have a fracured leg and was visiting my workplace in Sweden to keep up with things when I noticed media were live-streaming the event during the coffee break.
    I held up my cellphone so my co-workers could see the Trump family step into the helicopter and fly off, confirming with their own eyes he is gone.
    There are very few in here in Europe beyond Putin, BoJo and Orban that like Trump.

  12. cartomancer says

    Also, were those flags supposed to have an orange border round them, or did they just brush up against Trump’s face in the wind?

  13. cartomancer says

    birgerjohansson, #12

    I don’t think even Boris likes Trump. He sometimes pretended to, because he hoped it would get him better trade deals following his disastrous decision to do the Brexit thing, but given what is known of the man he probably has the same attitude towards Trump as most upper-class British toffs do towards loud-mouthed American businessmen – utter contempt.

    It would be difficult to understate the visceral loathing that Johnson’s class has for people like Trump – nouveau riche pretenders to power and influence with none of the class, breeding, sophistication and pedigree that they so value as the mark of their own superiority. Not that they would tell you this in public of course – that would be unseemly and undignified.

    A lot of people have noticed some very shallow similarities between the two men, and presumed without looking any deeper that they must basically be the same deep down. This is very much not the case. Trump is a self-aggrandising narcissist whose support base comes from racists and corporate donors, so that’s who he panders to, while Johnson is an old-fashioned heir to wealth and privilege who acts entirely within his class interests. Trump is actually a blithering idiot with no self-awareness, while Johnson just plays one on TV to make himself seem less cold and calculating than others of his ilk (Exhibit A, Cameron, D.). Johnson’s incompetence comes from a kind of institutional dithering among his party, Trump’s is all his own. Each is loathesome in his own way.

    That both follow the trajectory of the neoliberal consensus so perfectly is a quality of that system, not a sign of their similarities. Indeed, if one looks at how that trajectory is followed pretty much consistently across Europe, irrespective of the changing leaders in charge of nations, one begins to realise that there is more to it than the personalities of individual leaders.

  14. KG says

    consciousness razor@2,

    You have pretty much the same relationship to reality as the Qanonidiots. Even an attempted fascist coup hasn’t shaken you out of your ludicrous delusions.

  15. stroppy says

    @ 4

    Mary Trump described him last night as “a physical coward.”

    No doubt he only has room in his brain for one musical hook, and this one makes him feel happy, butch, and strangely in touch with his inner camp, though he hasn’t processed those feelings yet. In the meantime he plays with his hair, poses, and wonders, “Where is my Roy Cohn?”

  16. Akira MacKenzie says

    I hate to spoil the party with a Lovecraft quote, but just a reminder…

    “…and the cult still lives.”

  17. Rob Grigjanis says

    voidhawk @4: I still haven’t figured out how “Jerusalem” (the Blake/Parry hymn) became such a standard for jingoistic Brits. I don’t know whether Blake’s ghost would be laughing or crying. Maybe both.

  18. JoeBuddha says

    My brother in law is as Mormon as they get. At a father/daughter banquet (yes, it’s a thing in the church), all the fathers did the YMCA thing on stage. I admit to struggling a bit not to laugh out loud…

  19. blf says

    Rob Grigjanis@19, I’ve read somewhere (sorry, cannot now find the reference) one possible reason is due to (some of) the lyrics, “England’s mountains green”, “England’s pleasant pastures”, and “England’s green and pleasant land”. As such, it isn’t so much the British (or teh “U”K) as a whole, but primarily teh English subset, who have appropriated the song.

    According to Ye Pffft! of All Knowledge, Blake’s original poem, And did those feet in ancient time, seems to be even more explicitly “English”:

    The poem was supposedly inspired by the apocryphal story that a young Jesus, accompanied by Joseph of Arimathea, a tin merchant, travelled to what is now England and visited Glastonbury during his unknown years. […]

    In the most common interpretation of the poem, Blake implies that a visit by Jesus would briefly create heaven in England […]

  20. JoeBuddha says

    @21 How very Buddhist. There is a letter from master to disciple where it says in part that even if the disciple should find himself in hell, the Buddha will visit him there and hell will immediately be transformed to the Land of Tranquil Light. Nothing here is to be taken literally (it’s Buddhism, after all), but a similar sentiment.

  21. stroppy says

    Part of the history of this country is white people enjoying jazz while not allowing black and white musicians to play together.

    With Trump it’s all just a pastiche of bits and pieces of popular culture unified by his megalomania, not some coherent idea. And it has worked for him with a minimum expenditure of energy.

  22. whheydt says

    The young woman who led the Pledge of Alleigance at the inauguration, did the ASL signing herself.

  23. cartomancer says

    blf, #21

    Can we really say that the English “appropriated” the song, though? It is, after all, a song written by an English composer, orchestrated by a English conductor and based on a poem by an English poet about the English countryside, English folkoric prehistory and the current state of English society. You can’t really get more English than that unless you stick it in a Yorkshire Pudding, cover it in custard and write rude words about the French underneath.

  24. raven says

    I don’t think it includes anyone charged very recently, does it?

    AFAICT, the pardons don’t include the Capitol building attackers.
    Reports are that Trump seriously considered pardoning them but was talked out of it.
    If they are pardoned, they lose their 5th amendment right of non-self incrimination, meaning they have to testify in court if asked.

    Some of the attacker leaders are now claiming the attack was planned by several GOP Senators and other GOP leaders.

    CNN today
    The fear of legal exposure is not limited to Republicans who promoted or spoke at the rally, including Reps. Andy Biggs, Mo Brooks and Paul Gosar. Those who participated, organized and fundraised for it are also concerned, sources told CNN, including his eldest son Donald Trump Jr. and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, who both spoke at the rally.

    Top figures associated with the groups that helped organize it — including Women for America First and Turning Point Action, the political action committee arm of Turning Point USA — have also voiced private concern about legal repercussions, a person familiar tells CNN.

    Several of Trump’s closest advisers have also urged him not to grant clemency to anyone who breached the US Capitol, despite Trump’s initial stance that those involved had done nothing wrong.

    As CNN has previously reported, one of the top organizers of the movement that aimed to overturn the election results claimed he worked closely with Republican congressmen.
    Ali Alexander, a leader of the “Stop the Steal” group, said in several livestream videos he planned the rally with Gosar of Arizona, Brooks of Alabama and Biggs of Arizona.

    When the Capitol attack is investigated by congress, a few GOP congresspeople are going to have some serious explaining to do.

  25. blf says

    cartomancer@26, Good point. At the time I wrote that I was slightly confused by another “Jerusalem” (Master KG’s song in Zulu, Jerusalema), and failed to clarify / correct once I got myself straightened out.

  26. Rob Grigjanis says

    blf @21: Since it’s one of the very few songs I know by heart, I’m well aware that it’s about England. And I haven’t consulted pro-Britain Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish or Crown dependency (Isle of Man, Guernsey, Jersey) jingoes on their feelings about the song. So my bad. Still, I think it’s safe to say that the vast majority of jingoistic Brits* are English.

    The weirdness of the jingoes’ appropriation of the song lies in Blake’s feelings about Empire, established Churches, racial and gender inequality, and the plight of the working class. Even if they’re unaware of Blake’s feelings about those things, the line about “Dark Satanic mills” is hard to square with imperialism. The obvious interpretation is about the Industrial Revolution, but it’s likely Blake was referring to the Church.

    *Lest there be further doubt, I mean Brits who are jingoistic about Britain, not, for example, Scots who are jingoistic about Scotland.

  27. Rob Grigjanis says

    cartomancer @26: English imperialists (you know, the same twits who still sing “Rule Britannia” unironically) appropriated words by an English anti-imperialist. It’s not that complicated.

  28. KG says


    The world survived four years of Trump as its most powerful individual. There was always the chance he would decide at the last moment to go out in a blaze of hate and take as many of us as possible with him. But I think few of us here have any confidence in Biden to initiate the radical changes that are urgently necessary to avoid environmental catastrophe, or the continuing global threat of fascism. Now is the time to work at all levels, and in all countries, to persuade others those changes are needed, and force them on the political, corporate and military elites.

  29. PaulBC says

    CR@2 I’m not sure how that would work. The pro-Trump Republicans are unlikely to call themselves Democrats under any circumstances. Never-Trumpers are unlikely to defect en masse to the Democratic party. A few may. “Moderate” Democrats could join with anti-Trump Republicans, but that would not lead to a two-party grouping.

    It’s possible that the Republican party could purge itself of Trump and reorganize under McConnell or somebody, with the rump Trumpists forming a separate and less significant party. Or I suppose it could work out the opposite way and Never Trumpers are the less significant party (but I think it’s less likely because corporate interests clearly favor something that doesn’t include outright storming the Capitol). That would be back to two parties, but would benefit Democrats, by breaking off a chunk of the conservative vote.

    I’m puzzled at how this could settle out, because I don’t think it’s good for Republican power as consolidated under McConnell, but at the same time, I’m not enough of an optimistic to imagine there will be any real advantage for Democrats. We’ve been played for suckers too many times already.

  30. KG says

    Coming down to trivia, I note that the USA once again has five living ex-Presidents (Carter, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump), as it did between Trump’s inauguration and the death of George H.W. Bush – I think that was the first time ever.

  31. blf says

    Rob Grigjanis@29, Thanks for clarifying.

    My speculation is there is some “overthinking this” going on here. As an analogy, Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA is frequently appropriated by jingoistic nutters in the States, albeit why a song about marginalised veterans is so-used is a mystery — if one thinks about it or understands the lyrics, that is. But if one just notes the title and/or catchy refrain, its continuing appropriation is perhaps understandable.

  32. KG says

    Trump is reported to have mused on the possibility of starting his own party, perhaps calling it the “Patriot Party”. He wouldn’t of course want to do the hard work such a project would demand, nor be capable of it, but he might find others to do it for him. Consciousness razor@2 hasn’t even thought through his sneer far enough to realise that it makes no sense whatever.

  33. davidc1 says

    He has just announced he is going into the wine business .Trump wine ,made with sour grapes ,hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.
    Sorry don’t blame me ,i pinched it off the interweb
    So he has finally pissed off to Florida .

  34. says

    The one bright side to all those Trump pardons? Joe Exotic was not among them. He’s a terrible person and deserves more than 22 years in prison. He deserves life. Because he is a terrible person. Eff you, Joe Exotic.

    I thought part of the YMCA thing was due to some of his cultists…? I honestly don’t know. I mean, we’re not dealing with deep thinkers here. (-_-)

  35. pilgham says

    My life is sunshine, lollipops and rainbows
    That’s how this refrain goes
    So come on, join in, everybody!

    Trump was the 45th president. What a nightmare. Sometimes the past tense is the best tense.

  36. garnetstar says

    How about a national moment of song:

    “Ding-dong, the witch is dead! Which old witch? The wicked witch! Ding-dong, the wicked witch is dead!….”

  37. blf says

    @37, Ironically, whilst there are some wine grapes grown in Florida, it’s generally not a good place for wine grapes. So it figures hair furor would hide there to produce his sour grapes whine.

    (Pun intended. And YES, I realise @37 is being sarcastic !)

  38. PaulBC says

    He’s already in the wine business (and the whine business, needless to say).

    I guess Gums is running it now. https://www.trumpwinery.com I don’t see any clear product differentiation. There are lots of wineries out there. He must really think his name is worth something.

    Maybe he should stick with what works and partner with the Pillow Guy. (And yeah, I don’t get the product differentiation there either. Is the gimmick that it’s memory foam? Just buy some memory foam.)

  39. consciousness razor says


    You have pretty much the same relationship to reality as the Qanonidiots. Even an attempted fascist coup hasn’t shaken you out of your ludicrous delusions.

    You don’t seem to grok that it has shaken some Republicans out of (some of) their ludicrous delusions…. From the AP:

    Since last week’s deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, about 225 Republicans logged in to the election office in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, to change their party registration. Ethan Demme was one of them.

    “Ever since they started denying the election result, I kind of knew it was heading this way,” said Demme, the county’s former Republican Party chairman who has opposed President Donald Trump and is now an independent. “If they kept going, I knew there’s no way I can keep going. But if you’ve been a Republican all your life, it’s hard to jump out of a big boat and into a little boat.”

    Officials are seeing similar scenes unfold elsewhere.

    In Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, 192 people have changed their party registration since the Jan. 6 riot. Only 13 switched to the GOP — the other 179 changed to Democrat, independent or a third party, according to Bethany Salzarulo, the director of the bureau of elections.

    Of course, those are just reports from only two counties, in only the first week after the attack.

  40. consciousness razor says

    Consciousness razor@2 hasn’t even thought through his sneer far enough to realise that it makes no sense whatever.

    You’re a fool if you think more rich corporatist assholes engaging in a hostile takeover the Democratic party just doesn’t make any sense. What the fuck do you think has been happening here for the last several decades?

    Cartomancer in #14 brought up a somewhat British version of it, which you might recognize more easily. Needless to say (or so I thought) that lots of wealthy people aren’t comfortable with the “Trump” wing of the party. As long as they can still maintain control, they’re fine if it happens to be the more conservatives Democrats who are the ones doing their bidding.

  41. Tethys says

    Imagine there’s no countries
    It isn’t hard to do
    Nothing to kill or die for
    And no religion too
    Imagine all the people living life in peace, you

    You may say I’m a dreamer
    But I’m not the only one
    I hope some day you’ll join us
    And the world will be as one

  42. PaulBC says

    CR@44 I’m not even disagreeing entirely. I just think you’re doubling down on an overstated claim. Corporate interests already control a significant chunk of the Democratic party. The main distinction that has developed between the two big parties, let’s say since Clinton’s “Third Way” is that Democrats representation sustainable exploitation while Republicans represent all-out pillage of the earth and its people (because we’re all gonna die anyway, or Jesus is coming back, or them eggheads got it all wrong).

    I don’t see that alignment shifting. There will still be one big party for sustainable exploitation and another to throw caution to the wind and give in everything to business interests without a hint of regulation.

    The Trump party of putting on war paint and/or grabbing a gun and looting the Capitol seems to be the part big business has finally had enough of. It would be good in my opinion if Democrats could peel off actual sensible Republicans, such as exist at all. Maybe that can happen in Pennsylvania (which I know pretty well having grown up near Philly and gone to Penn State in the 80s). It would be the height of irrational exuberance for me to imagine that this will be a national trend.

  43. says

    @#32, PaulBC

    Never-Trumpers are unlikely to defect en masse to the Democratic party.

    Yes, that would be far too much of an ideological change. After all, how could they possibly support a party which just elected (checks notes) a pro-segregation serial sexual harasser who supported the Iraq War, the creation of ICE detention camps and the separation of immigrant children from parents, the PATRIOT Act, US military “intervention” and backing of right-wing coups across South America and the mideast, austerity for the poor, resistance against single-payer health insurance, doing nothing about climate change for decades, and an ever-expanding military budget. Clearly, that will be far too much of a jump for them.

  44. PaulBC says

    @47 And sorry, I should have made one post, but they are driven by tribalism, not ideas. Holy cow, if they impeached Bill Clinton instead of coopting him, which would be a sensible and effective way to consolidate power, then why would I expect them to be any smarter now? Do you get that they feel visceral hatred and act on this, rather than on some hidden n-dimensional chess strategy? It is just not that complicated.

  45. consciousness razor says

    “Sustainable exploitation”….. Okay, I’ll just let that sit there. Not touching it. I’m a little worried that if it attracts too much attention, it could become the next slogan for Exxon Mobil or Amazon or whatever.

    I don’t see that alignment shifting.

    I never said it would. In fact, I said the opposite. I said we would have two parties, the Ds and the Rs, the same two we have now. It was not a long comment, and that was unambiguously the message of it.

    So which claim of mine was “overstated”? Did you think I said something else?

    It would be good in my opinion if Democrats could peel off actual sensible Republicans, such as exist at all.

    More voters is not a bad thing by itself. But it’s not so great if, as is very often the case with “moderates” or “swing voters,” they have near total control over what the party will actually do and which things it will prioritize. Some just want to coddle them, telling them they don’t actually need to change their (very conservative) minds about anything in order to believe the party is making the right choices about its platform and so forth…. In short, the party moves in their direction (to the right, while the Republicans also move to the right, you’ll notice) rather than those voters moving to the left, in my direction and that of many other lifelong Democrats.

  46. PaulBC says


    “Sustainable exploitation”….. Okay, I’ll just let that sit there.

    It’s intentionally cynical, and I think it’s also accurate.

  47. AstroLad says

    “Patriot Party”: Anyone who bills themselves as a patriot (especially Patriot, or PATRIOT) isn’t.

  48. KG says

    consciousness razor@44,

    You’re a fool – and I don’t need to add any “if…”! Your #2 doesn’t make sense because the Democratic and Republican parties already exist, so nothing can possibly split into those two parties.

  49. KG says

    One of the most striking aspects of the stupidity of The Vicar, consciousness razor, mnb0, drew, etc. is the strategic: it is utter foolishness not to recognise and exploit real divisions between your enemies. One a slightly (but not much) more sophisiticated level, is the recognition that some of those enemies may be more dangerous than others, and that it may be necessary to ally with the less dangerous in order to defeat the more. Clearly, none of this crew would have been prepared to take any part in WW2 in order to defeat the Nazis*, given the manifold crimes of those ranged against them.

    *Well, unless any of them are in fact Stalinists.

  50. says

    I’d like to point out that unresolved conflicts split parties. As a non-R, non-D I’ve noticed non-partisan (as not in the party and not feelings towards a party) criticism affects party cohesion. As a person I don’t know if I want to join a political party again and partisan behavior makes right/left distinctions difficult with behavior related to unresolved conflicts.

  51. PaulBC says


    *Well, unless any of them are in fact Stalinists.

    When I was in grad school in Baltimore in the early 90s, I was a little stunned to see an occasional poster for Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) with the slogan “Mao more than ever!” I have no idea how that movement had made its way out of Peru to a seemingly entirely unrelated American city. I’m sure there’s some important context I’m missing.

    So yeah, maybe they are all Stalinists. Beats me.

  52. dudev says

    I hope Trump’s fans wake up and see him for the narcissistic man-child that he is. He used people and threw them under the bus when they failed to meet his demands. He repeatedly tried to pressure the Georgia secretary of state to alter the state’s election results. Trump didn’t march with the capital rioters on January 6th as he promised he would. And he forced Mike Pence in the terrible position of nullifying the electoral vote. But at no point did Trump actually put his own neck on the line. He risked nothing. And the idiot rioters actually thought Trump might pardon them.

  53. whheydt says

    Re: dudev @ #57…
    It was obvious as he spoke that Trump wasn’t going to march with his supporters to the Capitol. Not only was it much too far for Trump to be willing to walk, he’d have to “rub elbows” with the trumpen proletariat who were poorly attired, but there was no golf cart in evidence for him to ride.

  54. bcw bcw says

    Of course, if his Florida neighbors succeed in showing that the zoning agreement on Mar a Lago does indeed prohibit long term tenants, then Trump might have to stay at the Y M C A…

  55. robro says

    Apparently the QAnon meltdown is happening given that the apocalypse did not happen, Trump is gone, and Biden is president. Lots of wailing and gnashing of teeth. Besides people spent money on CB radios in preparation. Even Ron Watkins, the former 8kun admin who may be Q or son of Q (Ron Watkins) or just another big mouth, tweeted something of a concession and encouraged his readers to “respect the Constitution.” However, he does say he’s working on a new project. I can hardly wait for that.

  56. raven says

    The Biden administration could out Qanon in a day or two max.
    The alphabet soup agencies DHS, FBI CIA, DI, NSA etc. have multi-billion dollar budgets and a lot of cyberwarfare knowledge.
    It’s $52 billion/year for DHS/FBI and $100 billion/year total with the other spy agencies included.

    Compared to them, Qanon is a mouse.
    It is likely that it is the creator of 8chan/8kun, the American porn provider living in the Philippines.

    When you are wrecking lives and a society, you don’t get to claim a right to privacy.

  57. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    To throw two songs from the Inauguration celebration Celebrating America,
    opened with Springsteen singing solo his Land of Hope and Dreams,
    followed by Bon Jovi (and band) performing a dawn recording, from the coast of Miami, the song Here Comes the Sun.

    I think both were super appropriate for the new administration replacing the Presidouche.

  58. klatu says

    dudev @57

    I hope Trump’s fans wake up and see him for the narcissistic man-child that he is. He used people and threw them under the bus when they failed to meet his demands.

    Don’t be so quick to forego condemntation where condemnation is appropriate and necessary. That is exactly what all the whining on TikTok is supposed to achieve.

    Did Trump do those things? Obviously.

    Does that make his followers just easily-misled fools, free of guilt? Hardly.

    These people were (and are) attracted to a murderous, genocidal ideology. That some of them are giving up, now that they have stopped winning for a second, only goes to show how weak-spined they (luckily) are. It doesn’t exculpate them from their so-called “mistakes” in the least.

  59. Rich Woods says

    @cartomancer #26:

    You can’t really get more English than that unless you stick it in a Yorkshire Pudding, cover it in custard and write rude words about the French underneath.

    You bastard! I just cracked a rib laughing.

    (I’m also going to steal it.)

  60. voidhawk says


    You think that ‘Jerusalem’ is a weird national song? The English rugby fans sing ‘Swing Low’ as their anthem – a song written by slaves about being released from slavery through being ‘carried home’ to Heaven.’ At least ‘Jerusalem’ has some actual lyrics and myths which are positively associated with the country that they’re singing about…

  61. davidc1 says

    I read somewhere that Jerusalem was a plea for free love .It must be one of those things that people find their own meaning
    in it .
    There is a short poem by Randell Jarrell ,The Death of the Ball Turret Gunner ,,i once read a review saying it was anti – abortion poem .

  62. birgerjohansson says

    Will the Republican party split?
    If you have watched any Dracula or Godzilla films, you should know the monster always comes back.
    Just as the Ring contained a part of Sauron’s essence, so American laizzes-faire capitalism contains the essence of the Republicans.
    You must throw it in the fires if Orodruin to destroy it.

  63. birgerjohansson says

    National song?
    “Kill the humans
    and their culture
    Kill the humans
    Kill them all”

  64. PaulBC says

    I like the description of Blake’s Jerusalem as a series of stirring questions to which the answer is “No.” I forget where I read that, but it was probably phrased better. It’s a beautiful poem, anyway. I think I first heard it used in Monty Python. I am not sure when I learned of its significance later. You don’t hear it all that much in the US.

  65. Rob Grigjanis says

    davidc1 @67:

    I read somewhere that Jerusalem was a plea for free love

    Blake was certainly for free love, but if it’s in “And did those feet in ancient time” it must be deeply encoded. Maybe you were reading about another Blake poem.

  66. Chakat Firepaw says

    @KG #54

    One of the most striking aspects of the stupidity of The Vicar, consciousness razor, mnb0, drew, etc. is the strategic: it is utter foolishness not to recognise and exploit real divisions between your enemies.

    They have also missed what to do in a situation where you have two groups, one that is entirely made up of your enemies and one that is a mix of enemies and friendlies: Go after the full enemies so that your partial enemies don’t have an external threat to keep them together. By far the easiest route to a progressive party in the US starts with killing or crippling the Republican Party.

    Consider at the NAACP: They looked at the two parties, saw that the Rs all hated them but that only some of the Ds did. So they backed the Ds and helped push things to the point of the Ds splitting over the issues the NAACP cared about.

    The history of effective parties at the federal level in the US just underscores the need to go this route, (the creation of all but two¹ involved a splinter of the Democratic Party being a core element).

    1: Those being the very first one, (the Federalist Party), and the Democratic Party itself, (under the original Democratic-Republican name).

  67. KG says

    Rob Grigjanis@71,

    How about these lines?

    Bring me my bow of burning gold
    Bring me my arrows of desire
    Bring me my sword, O clouds unfold
    Bring me my chariot of fire

  68. davidc1 says

    @71 “Do you believe in free love? ”
    “Well i am certainly not paying for it ”
    From a Carry On film .HAHA .
    Talking of Blake ,when I was in London working as a despatch rider
    I was standing by waiting for a job ,mooching around ,i found a small edition of
    Songs of Innocence And Other Poems in the gutter ,it is about 4in X 3in .Don’t know how old
    it is ,no date .Published by Samuel Bagster & Sons ,15 Paternoster Row ,London ,not even a EC after Row .
    It has a name in it ,so if J C Thomson wants it back ,it is here waiting .

  69. Rob Grigjanis says

    KG @74: Since you are now a Scot, you can be forgiven for ‘sword’ rather than ‘spear’.

    Not sure I’ve ever seen free love expressed in such, er, martial terms.

  70. Rob Grigjanis says

    davidc1 @76: “What’s this thing called, love?”
    An aspiring actress’ reading of a romantic line in a Benny Hill sketch.

  71. PaulBC says

    Bring me my chariot of fire

    My first reaction is “sounds painful” and then I suddenly realized Mel Brook’s Blazing Saddles (1974) came out years earlier than the much hyped Oscar winner Chariots of Fire (1981).

    (No connection I realize, except in my addled mind. I hope that by building even spurious neural connections I can stave off Alzheimer’s disease.)

  72. PaulBC says

    @80 Indeed so. Talk about being in the hot seat.

    And what about the part where he brags “with my spear and magic helmet“? Wait, no, that’s Elmer Fudd.

    Sorry, my tastes are a tad lowbrow for this crowd. It’s not my fault. I was raised on 50s B-movies and old Warner Bros. cartoons on a B/W console TV. I have been many years in recovery.

  73. Rob Grigjanis says


    I was raised on 50s B-movies…

    That (more so if you include late 40s) covers some of my favourite films. Low budget black and white rules. Westerns, sci-fi, comedy, horror, noir. Great stuff.

  74. PaulBC says

    @82 Actually, I was surprised to find that some of the movies I remember in heavy rotation on UHF like Doctor X were actually much older. That one is from 1932. It scared the bejeezus out of me as a kid in the early 1970s, but my kids just thought the special effects were terrible and the dialogue ridiculous. “Synthetic flesh …” Yeah, it doesn’t quite stand the test of time.

  75. says

    @PaulBC 81
    What are you referring to with older cartoons? I can understand it if you aren’t being serious there. I’ve been thinking about Pepe Le Pew and rape culture. I’ll rewatch at some point but what I remember is more sinister than it was.

  76. PaulBC says

    Brony, Social Justice Cenobite@84 Well, do you really want a cultural purge? Do we stop reading Shakespeare or Homer because not everything in it is consistent with today’s (and I agree more ethical) values?

    Fortunately, Pepe Le Pew is one of my least favorite Warner Bros. characters and I’m happy to strike him off my list. But much of the humor is classic. As for What’s Opera, Doc?,

    In 1992, the Library of Congress deemed it “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”, and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry, the first cartoon to receive such honors.

    So at least I’m in good company with this one.

    I do not believe in shunning any work of art, though I will avoid rewarding living artists such as Woody Allen or Roman Polanski with my attention to make a point about their transgressions. But all art (that we know of) is produced by humans. All humans are morally fallible. If I start striking creative output off my list I will soon wind up with little besides vapid political diatribes.

  77. PaulBC says

    Brony, Social Justice Cenobite@86 Well you seem to be referring back to something I posted a lot earlier unless it’s a pure coincidence. You are certainly entitled to your curiosity and to make a comment.

    Yes, I’m kind of a fan of Warner Bros. cartoons and I think the ones from the classic era capture a particular kind of American humor that’s up there with the greats (Mark Twain or Groucho Marx for instance). You asked:

    What are you referring to with older cartoons?

    And my answer is that leaving out some duds (and Pepe Le Pew falls into that bin as far as I’m concerned) they are great art worthy of preservation and they also serve as a kind of mental shorthand for human behavior, useful for interpreting the actions of those around us. The Wile E Coyote moment for instance is especially pertinent these days, when reality is so slow in catching up to delusional expectation.

    That is what I am “referring to with old cartoons”. Hope that helps!

  78. Tethys says

    Disneys ‘What’s Up Doc?’ rendition of Wagner is officially wonderful? I agree completely. The artwork and score are superb, but Elmer Fudd singing-
    “Oh Bwunhiwda, you’re so wuuvwy.”
    is still hilariously funny after decades and multiple viewings.

    His sword and magic helmet are lifted from somewhat high-brow sources.

  79. PaulBC says

    @88 I think my favorite part is Bugs incredulously repeating back “Kill the wabbit?” (And I guess it’s kind of a meta-joke, since it’s not as if Viking Elmer Fudd’s plan would come as a surprise to him.) I haven’t watched the whole thing through in years.

  80. Tethys says

    @Paul 89
    If I read the words ” with my sword and magic helmet” my brain immediately starts playing Ride of the Valkyries and picturing Elmer on that ridiculous horse.

    The opera is itself a mashup of a few Norse sagas. I find it bemusing that modern media is currently filled with programs and films that are recycling ancient literature from the 900s.

  81. says

    @PaulBC 87
    I can understand the feeling since you have been discussing this, but I was trying to be general. “Deflection of sexual assault behavior to the French” is useful for seeing a lot of other things. I was also curious about what you meant by “rehabilitation” and am aware of how that might have been taken so I chose to leave it out.

    A lot of Pepe Le Pew behavior dosn’t translate to Fe Fe La Fume well either and I’ve only just been randomly wondring about that. My brain is set to “social conflict dissection” but that doesn’t exclude other views.

  82. PaulBC says


    I was also curious about what you meant by “rehabilitation” and am aware of how that might have been taken so I chose to leave it out.

    Actually, I am not sure what you’re referring to and it was probably a random aside I’m not very committed to defending. “Rehabilitating” Pepe Le Pew, e.g. to restore him to the Warner Bros. cartoon pantheon is not high on my list of priorities. In fact, WB is probably at its worst when they resort to ethnic stereotypes for cheap gags. Speedy Gonzales is another character that I would not miss.

  83. PaulBC says

    Tethys@90 Just a nitpick, but it is “spear and magic helmet.” (That confusion does seem to be going around today.)

    To tie it back it, I cannot read “Bring me my spear…” etc without picturing Viking Elmer Fudd girding himself for his wabbit hunt. Not the image Blake (or for that matter Wagner) had in mind.

  84. John Morales says

    Paul, my wife and I say “Pepe LePewing” to refer to someone calmly chasing someone who is frantically running, but who still catches up or even gets in front. The joke never gets old.

    (Applicable to many action and horror movies in particular)


    So Long, Farewell.

  85. PaulBC says

    @97 I tend to go for self-deprecating humor (which is itself a kind of deflection, since if I can’t be taken seriously I can’t be held accountable, right? But I try not to use it that way.) But I am also used to having my serious but outlandish statements taken as jokes, and my jokes taken seriously, which is one of the downsides of textual communication. I usually don’t add “(Ha ha joking!)” unless the stakes are high and I think there’s a serious possibility of confusion.

    (Ha ha joking!)

    (Ha ha joking about joking! The first paragraph is indeed intended seriously.)

    Hope that clears it up.

  86. Tethys says

    93 Paul

    Just a nitpick, but it is “spear and magic helmet.” (That confusion does seem to be going around today.)

    Yes, Elmer has a spear, which is not the magical sword that is generally associated with the magic helmet in the saga literature and later medieval romance stories. The only magic spear I’m aware of is owned by Odin. I suppose that’s a meta-nitpick?

  87. PaulBC says

    @100 I see. Yeah, to be honest, I’m a lot more familiar with the Warner Bros. take than the actual opera.

  88. PaulBC says

    John Morales@95 Yeah, I can see that, although oddly I never considered that his distinguishing characteristic, which was cluelessness. I haven’t watched one of those since I was very young or even thought about it, and now I’m just thinking that poor cat, who really does seem understandably distressed by the situation.

  89. Tethys says

    Yeah, to be honest, I’m a lot more familiar with the Warner Bros. take than the actual opera.

    Egads, the opera version is 15 hours long. You would really need to love opera to sit through the whole thing.

    I’ve never seen it, but I’m quite familiar with the multiple magic swords (Tyrfing, Gram, Excalibur ) and various versions of the Nibelungenlied.

    It all starts with an evil dwarf and a cursed ring……

  90. davidc1 says

    @76 LOL The tragic thing about Benny Hill was he kept doing the same gags ,year in year out .
    Plus all the endless repeats ,but he was a very witty man .
    He turned up in films where you would not expect him .such as Light Up The Sky ,about a WW2 searchlight unit .