Word of the Year – Trumpery

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Showy But Useless

A couple of weeks ago, the word of the day from wordsmith.org was “trumpery.” It’s an actual word. Trumpery is an old-fashioned term that refers to something showy but useless. Huh. I suppose we could think of an example… Something showy… hmmm. Showy but useless. Gosh, I’m coming up empty – let’s see if the dictionary has an example. Oh, here’s one from vocabulary.com:  Your huge collection of salt and pepper shakers is nothing but trumpery. Oh, okay, I got one: Your huuuuuuuge collection of denials of groping is nothing but trumpery.

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Trump Wins, Hell Freezes Over, Kills Both Trump and Pence, Clinton Declared Winner by Supreme Court: A Report from the Future. (and the news is good!) (well, not the stuff about the moose) (granny stuff is cool, though)

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CODE ORANGE!!!! UNLESS WE MOP ‘NUF!!

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The tens of thousands of fans who come to his rallies, the blind loyalty, the infamous oath-taking: they are fed up, feel held down and are over the moon with this man with bizarre hair and even more disturbing pigment. And they will all vote. Nothing is going to stop the Trump supporters – hell, high water, sleet, hurricane, tornado, twister, or an audience with Pope Francis. They will be at the election booths on Tuesday, November 8. Every last one of them will exercise their right to vote. The polls don’t matter: the only thing that counts is who votes on Tuesday the 8th of November.

 

Michael Moore has said, “… there is no doubt in my mind that if people could vote from their couch at home on their X-box or PlayStation, Hillary would win in a landslide.” But it takes something to get off one’s butt and to the polling station. It takes excitement — and Hillary doesn’t provide that the way Bernie did. Maybe, you’d think it takes fear. As entertaining as he is, the thought of Trump as President scares the absolute bejesus out of me. But not as many people seem to feel that as I had thought.So THAT doesn’t seem to be getting people to vote for Hillary either.

And once again, it is going to be those darn battleground states that are going to determine if our country goes ORANGE. Dear God, Help us. (no, seriously, if Someone Up There is listening, I am asking for help.)

Here are the most important swing states (there are others but right now these are the top ones — and this could change!):

Michigan

Ohio

Pennsylvania

North Carolina

… and the state that gave us George Bush with a mere 537 votes: Florida.

Michigan = 1; Ohio =2; Pennsylvania =3, North Carolina = 4 and Florida = 5.

Michigan = 1; Ohio =2; Pennsylvania =3, North Carolina = 4 and Florida = 5.

I’m going to remember it with the expression, MOP NuF.

M – MICHIGAN

O – OHIO

P – PENNSYLVANIA

N – NORTH CAROLINA

F – FLORIDA

If we “mop enough”, we can defeat Trump. If we MOP NuF of that orange off his face, he will go back under the rock from he came from. If we MOP NuF of the bullshit off this insane narrative about “Crooked Hillary”, maybe we got a chance of avoiding the culture of hate that would be our future under a Trump presidency. (“Trump” and “presidency” in the same sentence freaks me out.) If we MOP NuF of the disillusionment off the undecided voters or people who are not planning to vote in these FIVE states…. we can have a lady president!

IS SHE THRILLING AND WONDERFUL AND PERFECT? NOOOOOOOOOO!! Has she made mistakes? You bet. She shot herself in the foot with that email State Department stuff.  BUT: Will she continue the work that Barack Obama has been doing? Yes, Yes, a thousand times yes. WILL SHE CREATE A CLIMATE OF HATE LIKE HE-WHO-CANNOT-BE-CALLED BY NAME? (He IS the closest thing to Voldemort that I can think of.) No, no, a thousand times no: she will not.

So who do you know in the MOP NuF states? Got buddies there, family, contacts? Get on the horn, on Facebook and start sharing your EXCITEMENT about breaking the barrier about a female president and/or put the FEAR of God in them because…

if there is a potentially violent person with mental issues in the hospital and a show of force is needed, it’s called a Code Orange.

WE ARE IN CODE ORANGE. 

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Trump Trumps Logic

He is entertaining. He is. God, I love that hair. And that apricot face. I love it so much that I’ve taken to swirling my hair around my head, throwing orange paint on my face, putting on a suit, repeating and exaggerating  what he says, performing him at comedy shows and making people laugh.

See, look:

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Sometimes It’s Weird Being an American Expat

 

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I’m on my second experience as an expat. The first time in Italy and now in England. In both countries the United States is put on some other level. Like way up there, in the clouds, floating up up up, above everything and everyone else.

Italians are more than willing to crank up their necks to look up to it. They become obsequious at the thought of an American in the vicinity. There’s not that much crime in Rome but I’d always figured that I could wiggle my way out of a tight spot if I told my would-be assailant that I was from New York. Handing back my wallet, he’d say, “Veramente? Really? The Big Apple, New York?? I grattacieli! The skyscrapers. I hear you can make a Continue reading

Which “Trumps”? Racism or Classism: Brexit

This video made the social media rounds following Brexit outcome. It actually occurred prior but that’s not important. The Leave vote played on this kind of thinking and encouraged — subliminally or otherwise — this kind of behavior.

The comments made by Remainers were mostly along the line that the “Seaford lady” is the one who should be deported, or she should be shot, or that she’s stupid and ignorant or some variety. In addition, the Brits who intervened received harsh criticism for their gentle approach.

I thought they handled it beautifully. Getting in her face would have put her on the defensive and make her dig in her heels. She was an embarrassment to the other Brits on the train and in their “polite” way, they let her know exactly that. I was touched by how kind they were to her. She is the one to pity. Read between the lines and you can hear her resentment, her sadness — yes, her sadness. She’s had a miserable life and wants to blame someone. We are so quick to judge her and brand her as “racist” (and yes, of course she is) that we lose any and all compassion for whatever might be her circumstances.And I’m guessing they are not pretty.

Yeah, she’s racist and we’re judgmental. Great. We are more educated than she is – clearly. She even refers to that. So are we being “classist”? Is that less ugly than racist? This is a significant reason for why Leave won. Many people similar to her resent the elite — which, is us, by the way. THAT is what got us here. Our exalted notion that we know more than people like her.

This is all terribly similar to the Trump dynamic. (And I doubt that it’s coincidental – Zeitgeist is at work methinks!) The Donald riles up the monstrous in people and then we call them racist and stupid which just further hardens them and supports the likes of Trump even more.

But as Jim Jeffries an Australian comic says in the video posted below, fighting hate with hate never works. It just doesn’t work. Isn’t it more important to solve the problem? And isn’t the way to do it by bridging these divides. Calling the Seaford Lady  “racist” does nothing to forward the conversation. Only compassion will.

But if being “right” is more important to you, well, then, there you go — you got your referendum outcome. And before you react to these words, before you get defensive, I ask you to please consider them. True listening, after all, is the willingness to change.

Jefferies is as brilliant as he is entertaining:

 

At the end he says: “Ok, this might be the most hippy thing that ever comes out of my mouth, but …the only thing that can beat hate is love… Now it doesn’t always beat hate but … everyone will see them as the asshole. Don’t be the asshole…”

Is Democracy Over-rated? Brexit.

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Tell people they gotta vote on something and if they don’t know a lot about it, and if don’t have time to find out about it, and if they don’t think how they vote will change much about it, then they will come up with some odd, some selfish, and some — let’s say “less than thought out” –justifications about it.

Take the mini-quiz below. One of these is not a real reason given for voting Leave. Can you figure out which one?

If you get it right, you’ll get a 33% discount on my next Miss Divine T event July 9th at Salvage Cafe, featuring the amazing soon-to-be-famous-if-I-have-anything-to-do-with-it Richard Todd. (You will be quoting his joke about Henry the Hoover for months. Promise.) I will announce winners right here on 8th July!

Add other bizarre reasons you’ve heard people use for voting Leave in the comments.

Misshapen Fruit Belong but Maybe I Don’t

 

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I saw a skinny elderly woman bobbing from house to house leaving “Leave” leaflets. I asked her if she wouldn’t mind speaking to me.

“Of course, not, dear.” The typical kindness I’ve come to expect from the British populace.

I asked her for her reasons for wanting the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.

“Sovereignty!”

That that was the first word out of her mouth didn’t surprise me. It’s become a battle cry for  the Leavers. The first time I heard it was a few months ago before the referendum campaigns had gone into fever pitch. A close friend and colleague shocked everyone by announcing his intention to vote to leave. To him it was obvious. I was stunned. I asked him why:

“Sovereignty!”

In a word.

The elderly woman began to give me examples. “I used to run a B&B and there were all kinds of laws that effected us. We had to throw out misshapen fruit! The EU had laws about misshapen fruit!! It’s too much it’s just too much! ”

Sovereignty gives misshapen fruit more pride of place next to more prettily formed crop. Sovereignty also gave the UK crappy workplace and  environmental laws. Workplace fatalities in the UK have reduced by half since European safety directives were introduced in 1996. Being part of the European Union has given Britain cleaner beaches and drinking water, less air pollution, safer products and more protected wildlife

I’ve lived in a number of different places and have never have felt as much at home as I do here. But as an American with an Italian passport in a country that is no longer part of the European Union, misshapen fruit belongs whereas soon I may not.

X Marks the Brits

google images x“You know, you Americans say we Brits are so cold, but YOU’RE the cold ones.”

This was coming out of the mouth of Jon, the live-in landlord who despite dust and dirt everywhere, would freak out and scream if there were drops of water on the counter near the sink.

He continued. “You never put an x at the end of your texts.”

I wasn’t following.

“Well an x is a kiss, right?”

Yea and xoxo means kisses and hugs, so?

“You never write it at the end of your text.”

In time, I came to see that Brits do indeed put an x at the end of their texts. No matter what the person is writing about, there’s the little x. “I’m gonna stay home tonight, but thanks for the invite. x.” “Please pick up some milk. x.” “You’re a flipping cunt. x.”

When I lived in Italy, Italians wrote “baci”, which like the chocolate, means kisses.And I don’t write “baci” or “kisses “or  an “x” and I don’t write flipping “dry hump”, either.

This meant there was a flaw in The American Character?  I really hate representing the reputation of an entire nation. Besides, it’s just a letter: x.

And why, anyway, does an x represent a kiss? An “o” for a hug I can understand, I mean visually, you can get that – my arms around you, yours around me – an “o” more or less. But what kind of person makes their lips into an x – even if I am kissing you and you’re kissing me, where’s the flipping “x”? I’m sitting here in front of my computer, looking at a mirror and trying to make my lips looks like an x. The closet thing I can do is a bit of a fish mouth.

Ok. Time to google. Here’s what Wikipedia says: “The common custom of placing “X” on envelopes, notes and at the bottom of letters to mean kisses dates back to the Middle Ages, when a Christian cross was drawn on documents or letters to mean sincerity, faith, and honesty. A kiss was then placed upon the cross, by the signer as a display of their sworn oath.”

Texting “Meet you outside of Jubilee Library 4pm” isn’t something I feel the need to swear an oath by. If I’m gonna swear an oath at the end of the text, it would probably be more like, “Meet you outside of Jubilee Library 4pm, asshole.”

And yet, one does adapt so that if I look thru my texts, increasingly, I have come to, in fact, include an x at the end of texts.

I went back to google to see if others had my questions. On quora.com, a website that is like the university-educated version of Yahoo Answers, someone responded to the question, “What does it mean when British people put an X at the end of text messages or emails?” with:

“No X = for a person you know you will not get an X back from / if you are annoyed with someone / a guy you don’t really know
X = standard for any friend / a girl you don’t really know
XX = a girl you like
XXX+ = flirting / playing a game with someone / going overboard

Two funny caveats of this are;
1. Some people really do take notice of the amount of Xs they are getting. If you send XX to a girl, you may get XXX back, but if you drop back down to an X after, you almost certainly will not get XXX back again
2. People can get offended if you provide no Xs, unless you are renowned for being a no-Xer”

Best be careful or one might become “renowned.” Who knew.

And really, it’s supposed to be a little x, however for me and my iPhone, that’s extra work. If I end my sentence with a grammatically correct period, that damn auto corrector will make that x capital. So do you go back and delete the capital x and put in a small case x? I’m not saying I have answers… all I have are questions.

Cuz I don’t know.

I’m inquiring.

Go ahead, look at your texts. Isn’t there an x at the end? And when there isn’t doesn’t it feel a bit … off?  And if the other person usually ends with 2 x’s but this time wrote only one, should you read into that? I kinda doubt it but what do I know, Dumbass American that I am. x

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“Is there a Fourth of July in England? Yes or No.” Well…. YES!

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I was at an expat bbq picnic on Brighton beach yesterday. See, expats do things together – they make a point of finding each other and they do things like complain that you can’t find good zip-lock bags or canned Mexican chiles “in this country”. And we often laugh our asses off because we do really share something. We make fun of ourselves for being the loud, brassy ones, the ones that aren’t willing to squelch our personalities. And we all know who Oprah is.

And yesterday was July 4th and here we are in England and it had been originally pronounced that no one was to bring British food (it was frowned upon that Jennifer had brought Early Grey and lemon vodka) but we did compromise on allowing British sausages. Some of the significant others were born here, after all. There was some fantastic food and little in the way of cutlery. Laura got some tabbouleh in her mouth through some combination of gravity and eating kind of like a dog. And I met her only once before, and she claims to be shy. I do like that about Americans — we do what we have to do to get what we want and she wanted to eat tabbouleh. My favorite moment was when a smashingly fun woman from Houston (“God, I had to get out of there!”), who at one point admitted that at times she prefers animals to her grandkids, was having a hard time finding something to go with the Vodka. She had tried some mint tea but apparently that didn’t work. I got distracted speaking to someone else but out of the corner of my ear I heard someone say they’d brought CapriSun Juices for the kids and then I heard Sharon pipe up, “CapriSun … that could work as a mixer….”

The friends from London who were bringing the cutlery showed quite a few hours later. In fact, we had all finished eating and were making moves to leave and the crazy redhead of the London expats late gang said, “Don’t you people know you stay at the beach til sunset, at least to drink????” So we stayed and drank. A couple of the women sent their husbands and kids home and we drank and laughed and lit sparklers even though it was still daytime.