It’s hard to write about Trump, because anything you commit to paper becomes instantly obsolete. Whatever event or tweet you condemn, question, or perhaps even praise today will be rendered irrelevant by an opposite and nullifying event or tweet tomorrow. The only consistencies now are (a) the shitcanning of normal federal governance—which I get has been the Koch game plan all along, but still—and (b) the complete unmovability of Trump loyalists. It’s truer now than ever that Donnie could shoot somebody on Fifth Avenue and his supporters would see it as proof positive of his uncompromising, mavericky valor. Especially since a random pedestrian on Fifth Avenue stands a fairly good chance of being a New York Jew.
It’s not too controversial to suggest that if Obama had pulled even a fraction of the shenanigans over the course of his entire career that Trump performs on a weekly basis, people would have screamed for his execution. I mean--> constant turnover in cabinet; shredding of international treaties; inability to pass legislation; weekly vacations and golf outings; disrespecting athletes and soldiers alike.
Imagine if, say, Hillary had refused to release her tax returns. O, the howls! But in the post-facts era, the only things that matter are what you want to believe, facts be damned. You might as well worship a magic man in the sky, who listens to each of us personally, developing customized life plans, tests, punishments, and rewards in the afterlife for all 7 billion of us.
I’d like to lay the blame for the Trump phenomenon at the doorstep of Big Pharma. Thanks to automation, offshoring, decimation of labor, stagflation of wages etc., it makes sense that working-class Americans would hole up in their basements playing Gears of War 4 or snapchatting super cringy lingerie selfies while high on opioids. I mean, I get it. But Jeez, these pill pushers really took advantage of a bad situation. Well, comrades—enjoy your free market capitalism!
* What is up with the tiny cartoon voices on the grown women who work at the veterinary hospital? And why do they use them on humans as well as on pets? Is that supposed to be soothing? Has anyone told them that it’s the opposite of soothing?
* How is it that so many people STILL don’t know how to quickly take their seat when boarding an aircraft?
* I have absolutely no idea what to make for dinner tonight. And if I can’t figure this out, how in the hell am I expected to do this every single day for the next 30 years?
* Why is it racist to make sweeping generalizations about Asian, Black, Latino or LGBT people, but sensitive and nuanced to make sweeping generalizations about the Asian, Black, Latino or LGBT communities?
Pere Ubu // Neutral Milk Hotel // Hot Tuna
Rolling Stones // Red Krayola // Dinosaur Jr
Donald Trump said he was going to Make America Great Again. But everyone knows he can’t do it all without some sage advice from Yawny’s Digest. For instance, small businesses are the backbone of Main Street USA. But let’s say you wanted to start a restaurant and you didn’t know what to call it. Well looky here, I have some free names and logos that you can use, MAGA bitches!
WOK ON BY
SOCIAL JUSTICE RAMEN NOODLE HOUSE
I’m kind of a fair-weather friend. When the going is good, let’s hang out! But if you have a problem, or something’s getting you down, I’ll listen to you like maybe once. I don’t have an endless well of empathy, I have more like a kiddie pool of empathy.
A big part of that may be due to my uptight East Coast upbringing. Where I grew up, the assumption was that you would handle your shit, and if you whined about anything too much, you automatically got roasted. That mentality held strong among my preferred cohort of True Americans in Sussex County, Delaware. When I say true Americans, I mean alcoholics, drug users, marital cheaters, thieves, hell-raisers. I figured Delaware white trash > DC prep school kids, because substance abuse, underage sex, fights and petty crime are more exciting than watching “Rocky Horror” with a gaggle of overdressed drama nerds. Or cheering on the biggest assholes in the school while they try to maneuver an inflated ball into some designated zone. Shouts out to the homies in SFS Class of ‘82 though, we did vandalize the shit out of our high school. I’m not that proud of it, although actually I guess I am a little.
Teachers, please understand: none of it was personal, you guys did a great job. In particular, that time Mr. Lang the Physics teacher screamed at us and called us a bunch of entitled brats, that really resonated with me. I wonder, what would teachers like me do now if eighth graders broke into our school and vandalized the shit out of it like we did back in the day? Would I say “fuck this, and fuck these brats, I quit”? Actually I think it’s probably more likely that I’d just go to the bar after work to talk mad shit about the spoiled little fuckers. Because KEEP HOPE ALIVE
Whenever people offer me sunblock, I let them know that I’m immune to skin cancer. Because while I don’t think cancer is funny, I’m pretty sure that arrogance is. I mean, Trump is by far the funniest president, right? Also I look better with some color in my cheeks.
Guests are milling around the hotel lobby the day before my wedding.
Guest: So I guess it says here that a lot of these vineyards are over 100 years old. Supposedly they produce like fifty percent of—
My Brother: That shit don’t interest me.
When our dog first went blind, we all agreed to make the best of it. Rather than mope about, pining away for the good ol’ days, we figured this new phase just needed to be marketed in a sweet, appealing way. So I took to calling her “Marbles,” which I thought was pretty cute, but my wife declared to be “gross.” Ordinarily that wouldn’t deter me— for example, she also thinks Swiffer Foot is gross, whereas I’d characterize it as convenient and effective. (Swiffer Foot=the well-proven technique of using the sole of one’s bare foot for dusting hardwood floors. Why would that be any “grosser” than just walking around?). But if I’m ever walking her around the block and she bumps into a telephone pole or something, I’ll just jerk the leash and say, “Come on, Stupid.” I’ll say it in a nice voice, and, let’s be honest, she doesn’t really know the difference. But sometimes you gotta pick your battles. So in my head I started toying with “Tiresias”—a bit esoteric, but classy, right? Along similar lines, I think “Sightless Wonder” is pretty nice.
Everyone roots for their hometown team, but the players are never actually from your hometown. The owners usually aren’t either, they’re just rich people who bought the team as an investment. I think the coaches are imported from like Indiana or wherever.
Thanks to free agency, players are bought and sold like portfolio assets. I mean, they’re amazing athletes. And I fucking love it when players cheese fans off with political shit. But as far as team loyalty goes, it’s weird because you as a fan are basically rooting for a corporation: “Yo, Salesforce is my fucking squad. Talk shit about them, I might have to throw these hands.”
Yawny: So, did you read the latest Yawny’s Digest?
Daughter (pause): Yeah.
Yawny: Your dad’s kind of outta pocket, huh?
Daughter: Well. The part about the prostitutes in Mexico was a little…weird.
Yawny: OK, just so you know, I’ve never actually paid for a prostitute.
Daughter: (goes into room, shuts door)
* Apple cider vinegar * States’ rights * Thundercat * Climate change * Fish oil
I learned to surf at a little righthander in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware called North Shores. It was a nice place to learn: small, lined-up, easy waves. On good days you could take off from the end of the jetty and ride all the way into “the cove.” Which was about 25 yards altogether, but whatever. The wave is completely gone now, because beach replenishment can suck a bag of dicks.
“The Shores” was pretty inconsistent, so we had plenty of time to haze each other and invent stupid nicknames, two bad habits that remain with me to this day. Names like: Wally Gator, Gordo, Donut Man, The Cheese, Hazzardous, Sep, Muskie, Hortch, The Web. Annnnd...Yawny. So now you know.
One time I got up around 6 am and the waves looked good, with nobody out. So I ran on down there with my board, and lo and behold, one of the Biggs Brothers was still up from the night before, sitting on the jetty in his underwear drinking a 16 oz. can of Bud. I believe “mad props” is the appropriate term to be applied in this context.
Bad news, surfers have officially surpassed typesetters and pillow-makers as the least interesting group of humans on the planet. How did that happen? You know how it happened.