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Trump in Roanoke

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Donald Trump, racist whoopie cushion, appeared this afternoon in my hometown of Roanoke, Virginia, where I’ve relocated my insomnia for the past few weeks. Because I’m pathologically incapable of avoiding cheap and writable discomfort, I stood in line for several unwhiskeyed hours in 100-degree heat to experience the least-amusing civic joke in recent American history. At this point, one could assemble a pretty decent anthology of “I Went to a Trump Rally” narratives, so there’s nothing particularly special about the experience or about anything I might offer here. But today’s event was goddamn predictable and boring in a way that I actually found somewhat horrifying. There’s no question that the Trump campaign remains an ambling shitshow, and his “speech” reminded me of a somewhat less-cranked Spud from Trainspotting, but the normalization of Trump’s weirdness strikes me as more deeply troubling than what we all witnessed earlier in the year, when he was simply tugging his dick and yodeling while career patrons of the local Kum & Go punched hippies and black people. Adding to what Erik observed earlier, conditions like these underscore the horror of recognizing that Trump might actually win.

*

The two-hour wait outside the Hotel Roanoke was for the most part innocuous. It was hot and humid as Lucifer’s taint this morning, which might explain why no one in line near me was particularly chatty. My companion and I spent most of our time getting to know “Austin,” a 20-year-old future alimony delinquent from a nearby town who — if his odyssey was to be believed — had worked a 16-hour shift at a tire factory before driving several hours to spend time in the same room with Donald Trump, a humanoid pimento cheese tub. We talked about his family for a while before detouring into an extended review of his achievements on Call of Duty, interrupted by his occasional hoots of “TRUMP!” and “BLUE LIVES MATTER” when the local constabulary generously rolled by with another cooler of bottled water. When I asked if his parents shared his enthusiasm for politics, he ruefully shook his head, paused for a moment as if to relive an angry moment with Pop over the burn barrel, and explained that his folks preferred Ted Cruz. During a lull in the conversation, he showed me a recent match he’d earned on Badoo; “Scarlett,” as it turned out, was transgender, a deal-breaker for the young rake Austin.

While everyone waited for the hotel doors to open, journeymen plied their trade along the line. Every single one of them was a person of color, engaged in a secondary grift layered atop the primary grift that had drawn people like Austin to Roanoke in the first place. For $20, vendors offered shirts emblazoned with Elizabethan insults like “If you don’t bleed red, white & blue take your bitch ass home” or “If you build it, they won’t come” (featuring Trump waving through the fissure in a nearly-finished brick wall — an image that incongruously puts the shirt’s observer on the other side of the wall from Trump, implicating all of us as Mexican rapists and drug dealers.) In any event, I didn’t know what to make of the fact that literally the only black people in sight were fleecing white folks and selling them new church clothes; it’s difficult to cheer the continued circulation of dumb Lewinsky blowjob jokes (e.g., “Hillary sucks, but not like Monica”), but at least the proceeds were flowing away from the Trump campaign.

*

After gaining entry at long last to the air-conditioned hotel ballroom, we lingered for another two hours before the event began. During the last half-hour, the listless Trumpkins distinguished themselves mostly by failing to sustain any of the predictable chants — “USA,” “Build the Wall,” and “Lock Her Up” — for longer than about ten seconds. It’s been years since I spent much time in Roanoke, and while it may be somewhat less amped than the irate cornholes that seem to populate the campaign’s itinerary, I was mildly surprised that the self-assigned pep-squad deputies scattered around the room were unable to whip up some stiffer peaks of fury before the arrival of TrumpPence. Alas.

While the millennials in front of me Tweeted and Snapchatted and swiped left and right, the Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” played unironically in the background. The song reminded me of The Big Chill, which reminded me of how much I hate The Big Chill, before I remembered that the song plays during the opening scene the first part of The Big Chill, which involves the dressing of a a funeral for corpse who had filleted his goddamn wrists so his friends could come smoke dope and fuck each other for a few days. It’s not the first tune that would come to mind if I were assembling a “Make America Great Again” playlist, but no one asked me.

Finally, the Indiana tube sock known as “Mike Pence” emerged to introduce Trump, who apparently developed his “big heart” toward and “understanding” of Americans by building things with them — “skyscrapers and skylines,” Pence explained, which Trump completed by “standing shoulder to shoulder” with the people he employed. No, really. After some armpit fart noises about how Trump would get better trade deals from other countries and how we need a president “who digs coal,” Pence welcomed the man that the better-liberals-than-you in your Facebook feed regard as a threat no more worrisome than Hillary Clinton. It took Trump all of about five seconds to mention all the beautiful property he owns in Virginia and how he signs lots of paychecks in the commonwealth, before he proceeded into a distracted, 45-minute vortex that consisted mostly of scattered commentary on the sectarian drama unfolding within the Democratic Party. He cracked wise about Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, made fun of Tim Kaine for being a “weird little guy,” invoked BENGHAZI! and Pocahontas, and accused Clinton of being a “low-energy” candidate who needs to take lots of naps. I wasn’t aware that this was a thing with Clinton, but evidently Trump believes napping is detrimental to national security, a point he ought to take up with Ronald Reagan someday. The entire speech was an incoherent mess, as if Donald Trump’s brain were a Firefox window, and he sits at his desk every day shuttling between various Breitbart sites, YouTube, and Craigslist Casual Encounters, never bothering to wonder how he managed to wind up with 75 open tabs.

But the audience today didn’t care. In his own distracted way, Trump is a genius who understands that his supporters are simply bundles of dopamine receptors. All he needs to do is invoke BENGHAZI!, or the Second Amendment, or the importance of repealing the Johnson amendment, and he earns a room full of ecstatic eyerolls and jazz hands. During the “town hall” portion of the event — which consisted of three questions and a prayer — someone asked if Trump would promise to support Israel “100 percent” (whatever that means). Trump simply nodded and said “yes,” and the entire room went fucking bazonkers. He barely even needed to mention The Wall, except to promise that it would keep heroin out of New Hampshire and that it would be “as good looking as possible.” His biggest applause line, in fact, came when he griped about the fact that an enclosed hotel ballroom packed with 1200 bodies might get a little warm after two hours. Because he evidently doesn’t understand physics, Trump blamed the hotel itself for being inept — blurting out that he didn’t even know its name — before announcing that the owners “should be ashamed of themselves” and that if he were staying there, he’d skip out on the bill. That’s right: A man who aspires to live in the White House is now trying to earn Bad-Ass Points with his supporters by fantasizing about something equivalent to a dine-and-dash. And at the moment, this is a man who stands a 40 percent chance of winning in November.

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  • Lucifer

    NEEDS MOAR MESCALINE!

    • J. Otto Pohl

      The Hunter S. Thompson influence is certainly there. But, almost as important I think is the influence of H.P. Lovecraft on this piece.

      • All the props to you, Jotto.

      • rhino

        Professor Pohl, where would you like today’s internet delivered?

        And at 6:08 am, my time. That has to be a record.

        • J. Otto Pohl

          I am in Bishkek until late August. Strangely enough between now and the last time somebody on this blog called me professor I actually have been promoted to assistant professor. So this time it is correct.

          • delazeur

            Congratulations!

          • Anna in PDX

            Congratulations J. Otto on both the promotion and the marvelous comment. It was great to wake up to!

          • LosGatosCA

            They like you, they really like you.

            Congratulations!

      • DrPretorius

        I would like to dwell with this comment amidst glory and wonder forever in the lair of the Deep Ones. Or at least lunch with it at Quad.

        • Ahuitzotl

          guess which of you would be lunch

  • Joe_JP

    importance of repealing the Johnson amendment

    Eh. Churches can still promote their views on issues. And, apparently — going by how Hillary Clinton alone popped up at so many black churches over the years — they can invite candidates to speak. They just can’t endorse or do some magic thing deemed in violation. And, even then, the IRS wants to avoid controversy that they hate conservatives or something, and will try to look the other way if possible.

    Still. It feels like they are wronged. That’s enough for trumpiness.

  • Judas Peckerwood

    My companion and I spent most of our time getting to know “Austin,” a 20-year-old future alimony delinquent from a nearby town who — if his odyssey was to be believed — had worked a 16-hour shift at a tire factory before driving several hours to spend time in the same room with Donald Trump…

    I can’t believe that he didn’t mention the 16-year-old blonde triplet cheerleader hitchhikers that he picked up and group-shagged on the way to Roanoke. Must have slipped his mind in all of the excitement.

    • Ghostship

      On the basis that most Americans have a severe case of psychological projection, I’ll guess that your current sexual fantasy revolves around “16-year-old blonde triplet cheerleader hitchhikers that you pick and group-shag”. Your issue is that it’s just a fantasy for you and you are jealous that he might actually have been there and done it.

      • were-witch

        You’re trying so, so hard to get banned, or chastised, or castigated… but instead people are just passing on by, and the most you can get are some eyerolls. Sad!

      • rhino

        Dude, everyone knows it’s the left that has all the hot sex.

        Also, sex with the underage is a mainly republican thing.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      “I can’t believe that he didn’t mention the 16-year-old blonde triplet cheerleader hitchhikers that he picked up and group-shagged on the way to Roanoke. Must have slipped his mind in all of the excitement.”

      He was saving it, for that one special moment of love and commitment, when he puts it in a letter to Penthouse.

  • cpinva

    I’ve been involved, professionally, in federal tax law for 35 years, and I had to go look up the “Johnson Amendment”. turns out, I already knew it, I’ve just never heard it called that before. as the article notes, tax exempt status for non-profits is an election, you have to request it. for that status, you have to agree to abide by certain rules, one of them being non-direct involvement in partisan political activities. if you wish to be involved, don’t request tax exempt status, or revoke the election if you already have it.

    one huge problem with eliminating that rule is that, for all intents and purposes, I end up paying for your church’s partisan political activities, whether I agree with them or not. this is so, because my taxes must be higher, to make up for the taxes your church isn’t paying. a slight problem Mr. Trump always neglects to mention, when he raises this issue. someone needs to ask him why he thinks it’s fair, for me to be paying for his church’s political views. I bet it’s a word salad of an answer.

    my sister-in-law and her family live in Goode, between Roanoke & Lynchburg, and my son graduated from Lynchburg College. I’m well familiar with the area. I’m surprised young “Austin” hasn’t relocated to the area, he’d fit right in. for a bunch of church goin’, right thinkin’ folks, they have a pretty high divorce rate, so I guess that whole biblical, “till death us do part” thing is more a suggestion than a requirement. oh, it’s also (as near as I’ve seen) about 90% caucasion, so diversity isn’t a thing out there.

    • One cannot escape the slight belief that Trump thinks the “Johnson Amendment” is something that limits the number of wives and concubines he is entitled to.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        One cannot escape the slight belief that Trump thinks the “Johnson Amendment” is something that limits the number of wives and concubines he is entitled to. enlarges a certain portion of his anatomy

        But he’s already claimed to be “okay, more than okay” in that department, so whatevs.

    • Cheap Wino

      I wonder if the high divorce rate has anything to do with kids marrying young because abstinence is wholly holy.

      • Origami Isopod

        I’m sure it does.

  • agorabum

    What animates Trump? In a word – Pleasure. His pleasure, in other people’s leisure. Oh, and racism.

    • cpinva

      “What animates Trump?”

      a rare isotope of uranium. explains the skin tone.

      • Warren Terra

        I’ve seen Fiestaware, even played with it in the lab, and it’s even more vividly orange than the Donald. Though maybe he has only a low concentration of that uranium pigment.

        • Snarki, child of Loki

          Not a single element.

          A complex compound of Astatine and Holmium, sometimes known as AsHolium. Highly toxic. It causes serious brain damage when ingested through the visual cortex or the ears.

    • Ghostship

      I doubt he’s any more racist than most people who live in New York.
      BTW, given the “liberal” attitude of this site, I’m surprised that none of the authors at this site seem to have picked up on this article, but then it is a bit close to home for “liberals”.

      • were-witch

        Your weird hateposting aside, thanks for sharing an excellent article.

    • were-witch

      What animates Trump?

      …I dunno, Lovecraft wasn’t specific.

      My best guess is “eldritch alchemy.”

      • wjts

        If I remember “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” correctly, he did at least note that process hinged on the use of “essential Saltes”.

        • q-tip

          George Will Simon Orne tried to warn the GOP:

          As I told you longe ago, do not calle up That which you can not put downe; either from dead Saltes or out of ye Spheres beyond.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        We’re in CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN territory, people. If you catch a glimpse of ectoplasm coming out of your PC*, SHUT IT OFF IMMEDIATELY!

        (*normal behavior for Windows 10)

        • Ernest Pikeman

          CASE NIGHTMARE CHEETO, Shirley?

          • rea

            CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE was about a Trump lookalike, anyway. Charlie Stross sure comes up with some improbable fictional characters . . .

            • Tyto

              CASE NIGHTMARE BLONDE

              Does every thread have to be a beer thread?

    • Matt McIrvin

      His catchphrase was “You’re fired”, but Mitt Romney was the one who got a thrill out of firing people–Donald Trump’s greatest pleasure seems to be stiffing people. His skill and pleasure at not paying for things is now the basis of his campaign speeches.

      • malraux

        If you hire people, you’re dealing with labor law, which is much more biased toward paying the employee. If its a contractor, then you’re dealing with contract law.

    • Fats Durston

      What animates Trump?

      There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a man in the depths of an ether binge

  • This is some great writing.

    • JerBL

      I’m not sure there are any two things more meant for each other than Dave Noon’s writing style and Donald Trump’s candidacy.

      • LosGatosCA

        dave noon get’s marked down for misestimating the elapsed period before this was fully realized:

        Hundreds of years from now,In 2016, after some wretched, Satanic instigated disease and mental wildfire and intellectual famine have thinned the human herd Republican mob’s intellect to a shrunken patchwork of sagging, skeletal bands of jagged, half-mad wraiths — when the parched soil chokes forth desiccated roots and the air is a toxic brume slumping down on the arched, knotted backs of the still-barely-living — a remote spur of humanity Donald Trump will somehow recover the capacity to speak, an ability long since abandoned by their ancestors by Republican leaders, who were mute-struck with the unfathomable despair of those cursed to watch everything they love die come to full fruition. After generations a single television season of dry-throated croaking and lung-starched wheezing, their tongues swollen with thirst and punctured with abscesses that never heal, these distant, reductive people will bring forth a new language of fascism to survey the boundaries of their pain.

        At first, their Trump’s speech will flow together in single, blasphemous strands of adjectival protest; he will speak without subjects, no proper names or pronouns to jolt the Republican Party into the kind of self-recognition that could only serve as a spur to mass, urgent suicide.

    • JustRuss

      Indeed, I knew we were in for some fun as soon as this little nugget popped up:

      I stood in line for several unwhiskeyed hours in 100-degree heat

  • econoclast

    This was great. On the other hand, you attacked people like myself who have 75 tabs open in Firefox, so I have no choice but to vote for Trump in November.

    • Snarki, child of Loki

      “you attacked people like myself who have 75 tabs open in Firefox, so I have no choice but to vote for Trump in November.”

      You need to change browsers, and you won’t have that problem any more. I hear that IE crashes well before you get to “75 tabs open”.

      • delazeur

        Firefox usually crashes around 50 for me. I can get close to 100 with Chrome, much as I would rather use an open source tool.

        (Insert joke about how if a cluttered browser is a sign of a cluttered mind, an empty browser is a sign of an empty mind.)

        • Eli Rabett

          Check the Bookmark Menu bar first.

  • Mike in DC

    Given the demographics of Trump’s support, clearly the solution is to put as many non college educated men through grad school as possible.

    • 6 weeks of Derrida and they will still be gibbering in the aisles.

      • Thom

        Good line, but didn’t Edsall tell us that among men, even those who are college educated support Trump? The big edge among those with college educations comes because the gap is so enormous among college educated women.

  • Jackson87

    This is great ammunition against my wife’s stated desire to retire to SW Virginia.

  • Jon_H11

    I grew up in Roanoke too. Worked as a canvasser for Obama in 2012. Interesting city. I go back to visit my parents some and I have to say, I don’t think Trump has picked up any supporters Romney didn’t have. I’d say the difference is that people who had Romney-Ryan signs now have nothing (shy Trumpers? No show-ers? I feel a decent number (especially women) will go for H) and those that had “Defend Freedom, Defeat Obama” NRA stickers (but never had Romney merch, I don’t think they really liked the guy. But a Mormon’s better than a black to them I guess) now have Trump stuff. It seems like a wash to me. Combined with Northern Virginia’s government workers/military contractors (of which even the conservatives hate Trump) I think Virginia may shock people with how blue it goes this election.

  • jim, some guy in iowa

    hell, his whole career is built on the principle of “dine and dash”. you cant expect the guy to play that down

    • I totally loved that part of Dave’s post. Although I love the other versions as well:

      A dine and dash (also referred to as “dine and ditch”, “eat and run”, “chew and screw”, “eat it and beat it”, “eat it and street it”, “lick it and split it”, “book it and hook it”, “stow it and blow it”, “doing a runner” or “beating the check”

      • drpuck

        “Out-racing the check”

  • Steve LaBonne

    He definitely has a gift for demagogy. And it will get him 42% of the vote, where he has consistently polled. Climb back in off the ledge.

  • Adding to what Erik observed earlier, conditions like these underscore the horror of recognizing that Trump might actually win.

    If the goal is to legitimize racism and hate, then he has already won. This is not going to go away after Clinton kicks his ass in the election. This is the Republican Party now. This is what she will have to deal with as president.

    • Steve LaBonne

      Only the sheer crassness is new. Otherwise it’s what the Republican Party has been since Nixon.

      • It is definitely more open, and this has emboldened those who used to keep it to themselves or their close groups. Now, it seems they are just letting their racist freak flags fly without a care in the world.

  • Denverite

    Oh well done. Well done indeed.

    I wonder if Noon ever gets tired of winning the “post of the year” award with his single post of the year.

    • Turkle

      His “Christ, I Hate Blackboard” post has got to be high in the running for post of the decade.

      • Denverite

        Yeah, I don’t think there’s much doubt that that is the frontrunner for LGM GOAT.

        Lemieux’s Super Bowl 50 recap aside, of course. (Actually, I thought his AFCCG recap from this past year was one of his best sports-related posts, at least from a writing standpoint.)

      • Anna in PDX

        I have nothing to do with academia, but I worked on my local government’s implementation of SAP for two years, and that post was so funny to me. I sometimes go back and read it just to feel better.

    • Mark Centz

      d. His handle was d. THAT guy was the GOAT.

      Hey, Noon! Your fan club is too patient with you, but take your time.

  • I’ve been to Roanoke exactly once and didn’t get to see much of it.

    It’s a very challenging airport to land at. The approach brings you down a valley. Then you have to make a last-minute jink to the runway as soon as you break out of the weather.

    The layover hotel is a Holiday Inn that’s out in the middle of nowhere so it’s kind of a hostage situation.

    For those reasons I’ve avoided Roanoke ever since.

    • BigHank53

      Having experienced all three of the approaches to the Roanoke airport, and gotten an up-close and personal look at the mountains that line all of them, I wish I could avoid that airport as well.

    • rea

      I’ve been to Roanoke exactly once and didn’t get to see much of it.

      Except for the word, Croatoan, inscribed on a tree . . .

    • whetstone

      I kind of like flying into Roanoke for that reason, though it has given me my share of the shakes when the wind is bad.

      Unfortunately the area around the airport is a dead zone—I guess you could take a short cab ride to the mall—but downtown Roanoke is pretty great. More downtown-y than a lot of smallish cities, very walkable, good food, a great farmer’s market. And it was like that before the urbanist craze, though that’s improved along with it. The NYT had a big piece a few years ago on the urbanist transformation (really more of an improvement of what was already there) of the city core. Mostly it was nice before, but more people are living down there. Worth it if you end up there again.

      NB: It has a straight-up great restaurant now, The River and Rail. Guy from NC (IIRC) who did some time in kitchens in Chicago, a stint at a wonderful but failed attempt at an expensive, Alinea-style restaurant in Chilhowie, and then to Roanoke. Loved it when I was back there this winter.

  • N__B

    featuring Trump waving through the fissure in a nearly-finished brick wall — an image that incongruously puts the shirt’s observer on the other side of the wall from Trump, implicating all of us as Mexican rapists and drug dealers.

    Or, possibly, confirming that Trump truly is Pink and the hammers await us all.

  • nocomment

    “Trump is a genius who understands that his supporters are simply bundles of dopamine receptors”
    Noon da Man.

  • Murc

    but the normalization of Trump’s weirdness strikes me as more deeply troubling than what we all witnessed earlier in the year,

    I’m less worried about the normalization of Trump’s weirdness than I am the possibility that it might not be necessary; that this might actually be normal. Trump being a freak is just par for the course; if it turns out that he’s not a freak, that he represents mainstream opinion, well, fuck me.

    During a lull in the conversation, he showed me a recent match he’d earned on Badoo; “Scarlett,” as it turned out, was transgender, a deal-breaker for the young rake Austin.

    I can’t help but wonder if Young Austin was fucking with you, given that you identified him as a gamer, because a transgender woman whose nym is Scarlett is in fact one of the best Starcraft 2 players in the world.

    Or maybe it’s just a coincidence.

    • Warren Terra

      Or maybe this Starcraft player inspired the ‘nym of the person young Austin got in contact with?

      • J. Otto Pohl

        Or it is another one of Noon’s many clever and layered references in the piece.

    • witlesschum

      As I understand it, Starcraft people are very much a harder core sort of gamer than a dude who plays Call of Duty a bunch. It’s like comparing someone with a couple albums to someone who has deeply-considered opinions on which bootlegged show from which tour is best. But who knows?

      • Murc

        Not… really? I mean, not at that level. People who just play Starcraft a bunch are no more hard-core than people who just play Call of Duty a bunch.

        Professional Starcraft 2 players are of course much more hardcore than either, but on the other side of that you have professional Call of Duty and CS:GO players.

  • Woodrowfan

    driving back from NC yesterday I asked my wife to pull off for a quick break in Roanoke. MISTAKE. we got caught for a brief while by the cops shutting down a bunch of roads for Trumpfest. Gah! Only saw one Trump bumper-sticker on the trip, one white kid in a black-metal neoNazi t shirt, and a convenience store in Linden Va with a basket of Trump stickers at the cash register. It only had a couple left. I think the guy with the “Friends of Coal” stickers on his car took one. He could put it next to his sticker of Calvin (the comic character) dressed as a coal miner peeing on Obama. sheesh.

    One thing we didn’t see much of on our trip to western NC and back were people of color other than some of the cleaning staff at my Mom’s nursing center and one waiter. Never seen so many white people and nothing but white folk since, well, since we last went to see Mom. Returned to Northern Va and my wife remarked after we went for dinner that we saw more non-white faces of pretty much every race among our fellow customers than we saw all weekend. Too many white faces make me nervous now as I know I am in the minority among them. Funny, I feel less like a minority among a multi-racial/multi-lingual group than I do surrounded by nothing but other white people.

    • delazeur

      I know exactly what you mean: I am a young white male engineer, and I genuinely do not trust my peers to be decent people. Something about engineering really draws reactionaries out of the woodwork.

      • postmodulator

        IT, same deal. I don’t discuss politics at work except one-on-one, and then only if the person opens with something kind of liberal.

        • Woodrowfan

          at least I am at a university in the Arts & Sciences. My one tea-party colleague just left for another job.

      • Snarki, child of Loki

        “Something about engineering really draws reactionaries out of the woodwork.”

        It’s the THESE ARE THE RULES, THEY MUST BE FOLLOWED EXACTLY mentality, IMO.

        • That’s surely some of it, but equally surely not all of it. Engineers are notoriously susceptible to fringe-scientific beliefs in branches of science not immediately used in their own branches of engineering; this suggests that THE RULES don’t count and should be ignored—or even should be laughted at and abandoned—if THEY’RE NOT RULES THAT BENEFIT ME.

          • so-in-so

            Well, some of that is because engineers are really sure that being able to understand their field means they understand ALL things smart people understand. Not limited to engineers, of course, but seems pretty standard in the group (see, Adams, Scott for an egregious example).

          • tomstickler

            Perhaps I — an engineer — am AN EXCEPTION TO THE RULES because my basic mantra is DUE DILIGENCE.

            If someone propounds something that smells wrong, check it out. This has worked well for me.

            • Snarki, child of Loki

              I was going to add: depends on which variety of engineering.

              “If someone propounds something that smells wrong, check it out.” Chemical engineer?

              • delazeur

                Is that a joke about odors? I am actually a ChemE and I sometimes do odor mitigation work.

                In all seriousness though, I think ChemEs might be the worst branches of engineering in this regard because of our exposure to the oil industry.

        • delazeur

          My feeling is that for reasonably intelligent conservatives engineering is a way to get an education without taking more than a couple of humanities courses that might challenge your world view. Bonus points if you want to do something science-y but don’t want to have anyone telling you that the Earth is more than 6,000 years old.

        • Anna in PDX

          Of the engineers I have known who are libertarian and/or right wing it seems to me they’ve been told they are smarter than the average bear all their lives so they just assume that this is true.

        • ajay

          “Something about engineering really draws reactionaries out of the woodwork.”

          Also, theology (see: Iran).

          • JohnT

            A truly devout person would see the subjects as quite linked, no? Both explain how the world truly works in some detail and what the student needs to do to move their part of the world in the correct direction….

      • Nubby

        If you wanted to surround yourself at your workplace with people who are the salt of the earth, honest as the day is long, exemplars of upstanding moral character, you should’ve got a marketing degree.

    • “He could put it next to his sticker of Calvin (the comic character) dressed as a coal miner peeing on Obama.”

      Hey, they’re the ones who wanted to frack everywhere and now we have cheap natural gas.

      As the one meme goes: there’s no more a war on coal than there’s a war on typewriters.

      • Woodrowfan

        ohh, I like that. I was thinking “war on buggywhips” but typewriters is better.

        Saw several “Friends of Coal” stickers on trucks in SW Virginia. those little coal towns are depressing. I’d be pissed off and looking for someone to lash out at too if that was my home. Actually, my hometown near Dayton IS like that. I saw recently the poverty rate topped 50%. But I know it’s not the Mexicans or blacks on welfare that did it. It was GM, and NCR, etc, leaving.

  • leftwingfox

    But today’s event was goddamn predictable and boring in a way that I actually found somewhat horrifying. […] the normalization of Trump’s weirdness strikes me as more deeply troubling than what we all witnessed earlier

    “I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind.

    Must be Tuesday.”

  • postmodulator

    Okay, I feel terrible for the rest of the country that they’re having to go through this, but as a misanthrope can I just say that in some ways this election is incredibly validating? People suck as bad as I always thought they did. Hell, worse.

  • aintthatpretty

    I’m embarrrassed to know that you are incorrect about The Big Chill. The opening montage of Kevin Costner’s dead body being prepped for burial is soundtracked to “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is played at the end of the funeral, first on the church organ. Let’s get Kasden’s hackiness correct.

    • witlesschum

      If Noon has misstated something from Silverado he would have heard from me.

      • Tyto

        “That ain’t right.”

    • davenoon

      Yikes! I’ll amend my error!

    • JustRuss

      Regardless, YCAGWYW seems like a weird theme song for a political campaign. Is it code for “Fuck those liberal moochers”?

    • Ahuitzotl

      I’d still like to know who resurrected zombie Costner for the rest of his career … and why

  • epidemiologist

    Thanks! This was… Oddly cathartic.

  • Todd

    Since his turn to using teleprompters, Trump’s ability to still give a rambling disjointed speech is pretty impressive.

    • so-in-so

      Two possibilities. One is that he actually writes the speeches. The (more likely) is that he ignores what is on the teleprompter when the mood strikes.

      Which is pretty much what his campaign has said he will do with the rest of the presidency should he win; ignore the parts that don’t please him and outsource them to his VP (or Putin, who knows).

      • Anna in PDX

        Definitely it’s the second option.

  • whetstone

    Had no idea one of the LGMers was a Roanoker! (I grew up in Botetourt County.) Hope you at least got yourself some peanut soup.

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