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Elusive Is Funny?

Evasively Elusive

What a time we’re in, somewhere between Shakespeare and the Marks Brothers, or perhaps Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth” and Colbert’s “truthiness.” Is this tragedy or comedy?

The Nightly News brings bad news, medical complications, and warnings about taking expensive new medicines advertised by cheery people dancing in their kitchens. Do you have to be sick to have fun? Be sure to consult your health care “provider.”

Away from the news, we can watch numerous versions of shows that alarm us with “murder!” Even PBS hawks such attention-getters. How many murders does the typical TV watcher see compared to actual murders in their town? Anxiety and fear serve as political ploys.

Daily my inbox is flooded with desperate, worthy causes. If I send $5 to one, others show up begging. So sad that the worthy causes go multiplying and begging, while the anti-worthy ones get secret big funding from the beyond rich, all fronted by the belligerent rabble.

Then there are desperate appeals from other states and persons, all looking similar: bold colors and alarming warnings all tuned to elicit your compassion and concern. None of them know you or what you do. You’re part of a vast list of names. It’s software that calls you by name. There’s no personal connection happening except as tugs in you. The other end sees reports of numbers. Red or Blue, the alarming appeals look similar. I wonder if the same company runs the fundraising software, making money off all sides. How much of my measly $5 gets there?

I end up deleting pages of worthy cause requests. Declining elephants, rhinos, buffalos, and birds tug at my heart but not always my wallet. Away they flit. Decent local political campaigns in Michigan and North Carolina tug at me too, simply because I’ve lived there and I know the shiny show of unfettered corporate fascism befuddles Americans in all states. I delete whole pages of worthy causes. There’s lots of real need amid skilled greed. I can’t fund like billionaires can.

There’s a take-over taking us over ever since JFK and RFK were killed in plain view. The end of the Fairness Doctrine for our radios and the hiding of huge secret money influencing our elections via Citizens United has us trying to play a game that’s rigged to keep corporate profits flowing no matter the harm. Don’t believe me? Check The News.

For instance, I avoided watching the local CBS news because I knew it was (and is) a Sinclair Station, known for pushing right-wing slogans and stories out to the affiliates. Other than for Steven Colbert, I don’t go there often. But I did, and sure enough, “Full Measure” had two attractive women giving only the bad news about canceled off-shore wind projects on the East Coast. They never mentioned why it’s better to power millions of homes via wind than coal or “natural” gas. No reminders of increasing hurricanes and tornados. No notice of worldwide heat domes and heat death. Instead, they bemoaned the loss of 500 jobs and $5B in investment, but never how that investment in clean, renewable energy would pay off for decades. The people who get their news there use this reporting for their thoughts. They feel informed and adamant in their angry opposition.

Reactionaries rule the popular and probable reactions. I’m lucky to live where there isn’t much MAGA madness. I feel sorry for those in so-called Red States who are barely outnumbered but usually outshouted. They aren’t alone, but you’d never guess that from the solid red map. Even within people, there are shades of red and blue. Same for solid blue; not so simple.

Simple Red and Blue sides aren’t so simple. Look at the bipartisan ramp-up of saber-rattling at China. Not my will. Not what I’d have my government do. Yet, there it goes. I’m no Trumper, but I’ve witnessed the “deep state” invasions and assassinations all my life. Trouble is that Trump’s form of a deep state would be far worse. Check out #Project25, the big money plans behind the colorful, entertaining, distracting, pernicious circus.

“Call it fake news, and then make it faker.”

Bomb Vietnam and secretly, Cambodia. Attack Iraq because Saudi Arabians attacked us. Let Netanyahu slaughter thousands of innocent, hapless Palestinians in racist hatred. None of these were wise or fair. None came up for my vote. Illegal and immoral, I’m left to regret the lack of leadership that funds war more than peace.

I had hoped Biden would end Trump in the big ballyhooed debate. Trump didn’t win (especially if you read his words) but Biden lost. Despite my loathing of his war-mongering, Biden respects the process of our democracy, while Trump is a blatant iconoclast, smashing every sacred safeguard. His lackeys on the Supreme [ly Corrupt] Court are conspiring to grant immunity for his treasonous past and future. We’re the irrelevant complainers in a rigged system. When leaders flout the law and announce their intended revenge we can look forward to rampant lawlessness by such leaders, their funders, and their rabble alike.

Biden blundered, and we’re cringing with “What next?” The funniest caustic joke about it is “Weekend at Biden’s,” Dems trying to prop up a dead guy. One friend suspects it was a deliberate fail for the “deep state” to spring a new candidate before the convention. I doubt that, but I’m reminded there are dozens of potential candidates in the political and entertainment world more suitable for the presidency than Don the Con.

Utterly unmentioned is how Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to replace the utterly right-wing Scalia on the Supreme Court was blatantly blocked by Mitch McConnell, his claiming the eleven-month gap before the election was too soon to allow a vote. Hilary Clinton had warned of a “vast right-wing conspiracy,” but it was laughed off as just another conspiracy theory. Instead, as soon as Trump took office he pushed Neil Gorsuch into that formerly balanced court. Further right-wing judges followed: Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. The court was effectively stacked. What “vast right-wing conspiracy”?

Since starting to write this, Trump’s pet Supreme [le corrupt] Court assaulted us and our democracy with two new take-overs. In overruling the Chevron doctrine, they supplanted all governmental agencies with courts. Unleash the Kraken (as in corporate lawyers), clogging the courts to the detriment of our environment and health care! Then they granted immunity to Trump by kicking the can down the ever-longer road, leaving whether his deliberate orchestration of a violent insurrection was a presidential or private act for debate and delay.

Yet again, Trump slips out of earned consequences. His 34 felonies get dismissed as mere accounting errors, fully ignoring the pertinent part of those: He paid a porn star to keep quiet about his screwing her as his pregnant wife slept nearby! He hid his vile nature from the American voting public and then paid her off to lie about it. Yet again, evangelical Christians refuse to accuse him. Instead, they idolize him.

He brags about not launching wars abroad. To the extent this is true, I credit him. Instead, he wages war on our society and democratic processes, accusing judges of being Democrats (as if they are thus unfair and unworthy) and reviving threats of civil war.

War in Ukraine. War in Gaza. War threats to China. Threats of Civil War here. The world is thrashed with hurricanes and tornados, and it bakes with heat domes that go mostly unmentioned amidst all the exaggerated hand-wringing over inflation and immigration. Worldwide drift to right-wing populism from Argentina to India to France.

Remember Hitler, Mussolini, and Franco? What could go wrong? Worldwide fascism is again on the march, while we’re inundated with dire warnings of “the radical left.” What radical left? There isn’t any anywhere. Is Putin a leftist?

In lands afar and mine, the armaments manufacturers and merchants prosper. Off-shore windmills that supply our needs while keeping our planet pristine? Not so much.

I thought the Enlightenment and our American humanistic democracy had us past the Dark Ages, past the imposition of monarchs or dictators, past the possibility of new worldwide war, past the befouling of our nest with stupidity and waste, but there’s no guarantee of progress.

“Something’s wrong, and it’s just getting wronger.”

Democracy, decency, creative cooperation, a clean and healthy future – all these are evasively elusive.


Sorry, readers. Computer was down all month and this screed came at the last minute along with computer glitches. I’m tired. Thanks for reading thus far. I may take this down soon. Other months, I’ll do better.

Byron has been using his writing and public speaking to engage, challenge and inspire audiences for over 40 years. Reverend Carrier's mission is to rescue and revive our earthly Eden, including our human worth and potential. If you enjoy his work, consider supporting him with Patreon.

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Teja Ray
Teja Ray
20 days ago

Challenging times, indeed.

I’m wondering about this possibility: Oprah 2024

Teja Ray
Teja Ray
20 days ago
Reply to  Byron Carrier


20 days ago
Reply to  Byron Carrier

A pile of crap would be better.. I’m thinking and hoping that trump doesn’t have as many idiots to vote for him as he thinks he has!! It’s the only thing that will save us and our country. That and for more of us to VOTE ALL BLUE! But! Bruce and I just got our primary mail-in ballots. And noticed that there’s not a whole lotta of Democrats to vote for!!! But, we live in a red shit hole.. We know the paid for SCOTUS isn’t going to follow the law of the Constitution.. They just tore that up. And… Read more »

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