This Unholy Mess

If the Ten Commandments don’t really do it for you but you can’t quite stomach Dr. Phil either, then why not dip your mental big toe into This Unholy Mess? I can sound as authoritative as Oprah, as enthusiastic as Joel Osteen, and as esoteric as Ron Hubbard—and I can do it all without the terrible burden of wealth and notoriety that might risk infusing my writing with a bit of legitimacy. Much of what you will find on the blog is political, if only because I am a fan of tragi-comedy; but there are plenty of offensive religious and social topics to disturb just about anyone with a reasonably closed mind, a slight chip on his shoulder, and a desire to confront people belligerently from the safety of a computer keyboard. Enjoy!


At this very moment, Congress is busy with important issues like campaign fundraising, schmoozing with lobbyists, and, say, considering a resolution to make Dolly Parton’s chest a national monument. So they might have missed the major headline: The election of 2016 changed everything. It’s not just that the internet played an outsize role in the results, since that was true also in 2012, but that social media conferred a new title on our current president, one with implications significant enough to demand serious action from Congress. That title is: Troll-in-Chief. Mr. Trump was the first person to succeed in the presidential sweepstakes by combining social media, shocking dishonesty, and naked personal ambition in order to make our electoral process a grease fire. There has been much discussion about whether he is a “genius” or just a manipulative, self-absorbed bag of bum dust, but it matters not how you describe it. The results are in. The world is a different place now. In the past, national political figures had to earn their stripes, garnering notoriety usually by winning progressively more prominent political offices, championing successful actions that improved the lives of constituents, or through long and distinguished military service. This kind of pay-your-dues, gritty ground game is what has given us ALL of our presidents, from Washington to Obama. As they say: Let that sink in. But the internet has radically changed the dynamics of our national life, and we cannot hope to get that Clairol for Men back into the bottle. We now live in a political world in which an expert troll such as Mr. Trump can have it all his way. He can spew out the most bile-soaked lies on social media, and do it with impunity. He is untouchable in the sense that if readers who disagree with him are silent, they are in effect complicit, accepting his remarks. If readers jump in and call him out on his lie, it only creates more attention for him—attention which is the coin of the realm of social media. He can’t lose, as long as he has a base of frontal-lobe-impaired supporters who accept what he says as gospel. There seems to be no shortage of these in America today. In the land of free speech and easily-duped voters,...   Read more