Trumptation Blues

“South Carolina is too small for a republic and too large for an insane asylum.” – James L. Petigru, former South Carolina Attorney General, 1860

As the 2016 presidential campaigns got going and professional loudmouth Donald Trump achieved “frontrunner status” among the field of GOP candidates, I had visions of the “anyone but Romney” jockeying that went down in 2012 quickly unseating Trump from the top of the field.

Oh, would that I’d been right.  Donald Trump has won the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries walking away, after suggesting all Mexicans are rapists, Muslims should be shot with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood, and that the pope doesn’t know shit about being a Christian.

I thought at first that, well, this is what the GOP gets. They’ve spent the last eight years preying on fear, passing racist voter ID laws and stooping to the lowest possible rhetorical level to make Obama seem like an America-hating villain, all while making it easier for rich, white men to take everything of value this country has to offer.  Trump is the Frankenstein’s monster the GOP created by convincing gullible Americans that the black guy running the country was every kind of evil there was, and we needed the exact opposite sitting in the Oval Office starting in January of 2017.

But then I realized, it’s a two-headed monster the GOP created, and the Bernie Sanders candidacy is the other head. I like Bernie the independent senator. He was one of the first five people I ever followed on Twitter. I don’t know if he would make a great president, but he represents, essentially, all of the things that the GOP accused Obama of being (except, of course, a Kenyan). Where they accused Obama of being an un-Christian socialist, Bernie really is one. And an unapologetic one. The comparisons go beyond that, but the point is that the hard right has built a bunker behind the anti-Obama, and the hard left has built one behind the ultra-Obama.

Look, all I know is that Trump’s ascendancy doesn’t say bad things about Donald Trump. He’s a cartoon. But it says terrible things about Americans. That almost 35% of South Carolinians think this dickhead represents what America needs is a slap in the face to every single person who has ever taken even the smallest action in favor of living up to the promise of America as set forth in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”

I get it. We’ve done a bad job from the start at living that truth. But we’ve made progress. And Donald Trump represents regression away from that ideal in every possible sense.

On election night in 2012, by an accident of the calendar, I was playing a solo set in Hollywood. I’ve never shared this video before, but on that night I closed my set with “This Land is Your Land.” Incidentally, Woody Guthrie hated Donald Trump’s father. I’ll leave that here…

Valentine’s Playlists…For However You Feel About Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is one of those rare greeting card holidays that actually engender feelings in people. If you’re lucky in love, Valentine’s Day can be a lot of fun. I’m not above admitting it. So if you’re feeling Valentine’s Day this year, I put together a Sci-Fi Romance playlist for you:

However. (There’s usually a “however.”) If you’re unlucky in love, if maybe you just went through a breakup, holy hell do you not want to hear happy love songs on Valentine’s Day. I’ve been there. So I made an “Anti-Valentine’s Day” Sci-Fi Romance playlist for you, too.

In whichever camp you find yourself, may you have a safe and rewarding/cathartic Valentine’s Day.


Horror Movies to Watch This October

It’s hard for me to believe that it was a year ago today that — without fully realizing what I was doing — I started work on the Sci-Fi Romance October EP. For those not familiar, every October I watch as many classic horror movies as I can cram into my eyeballs, and last year, over ten days I watched six movies, wrote a song about each, and recorded them on a nearly 30-year-old analogue four-track cassette recorder. We’re gearing up for the release of our next full-length album, so I won’t be spontaneously writing and recording songs this year, but I will be doing all the horror-movie-eyeball-cramming.

I wanted to share my planned list of movies, in case anybody else wanted to celebrate the annual return of the best month, and wasn’t sure what to watch.

In no particular order:

  • The Masque of the Red Death
  • Night of the Living Dead
  • The Wicker Man (which I have in a collectible wicker box!)
  • The Tomb of Ligeia
  • The Haunted Palace (billed as an Edgar Allan Poe adaptation, this is actually one of the best H.P. Lovecraft adaptations out there)
  • House of Wax
  • The Invisible Man
  • The House on Haunted Hill
  • Twice-Told Tales
  • Cat People
  • Curse of the Demon
  • Burn Witch, Burn
  • Frankenstein/Bride of Frankenstein/Young Frankenstein
  • Black Sunday
  • Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell

That’s about one every other day. Between rehearsals and…you know, life…I may be able to keep that pace up.

My list is maybe a little Vincent Price-heavy, if there can be such a thing, but I’m…hopeful…I’ll survive. What are some of your favorites? What will you be watching?