Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search

Tommy Carcetti

Tommy Carcetti's Journal
Tommy Carcetti's Journal
December 15, 2021

OFFS--This is the shit that gets passed around social media these days.

1. No, the economy does not equal the stock market, nor does the stock market equal the economy.
2. That said, even with the loss the Dow closed nearly 5,000 points higher than it ever did during Trump's presidency.
3. Also, a 139 point swing is pretty normal at today's stock market volumes.
4. So yes, it is "Joe Biden's economy." You're welcome.
December 9, 2021

BREAKING NEWS: World renown singer-songwriter Billy Joel questioned about Fox News tree blaze

Authorities in New York City say that they briefly questioned award-winning musical superstar William Martin Joel about his potential involvement in a Wednesday morning blaze of the Christmas tree in front of Fox NewsCorp's headquarters in Midtown Manhattan.

Police say they questioned the 72 year old Joel--a five time Grammy winning singer-songwriter known for his iconic stadium shows--for approximately four minutes and forty-nine seconds on Wednesday afternoon before ultimately clearing him of involvement.

They remained tight-lipped about the exact contents of what Joel told police, only describing it as a "rather bizarre, rambling screed in which he named dropped a long laundry list of dozens of various newsworthy events and figures of the second half of the 20th Century."

"It was all quite strange," one detective said. "At one point, he's talking about serious items like the desegregation of schools in Little Rock, the JFK assassination and protests in Tiananmen Square, and the next moment, he shifts to far more light hearted topics like California baseball and the Coke and Pepsi 'cola wars.'"

Despite police finding Joel's statement completely baffling at times, they nonetheless described it as "extremely catchy," and noted that upon its conclusion, several detectives in the interview room stood up and cheered and requested an encore.

Ultimately, Joel was cleared of culpability when it was determined that at the time of the fire, Joel was uptown visiting a female companion and therefore couldn't have committed the arson. The exact name of the woman was not released, but it was said she was someone who was "living in her white bread world" and that she was seeking out a "downtown man."


November 12, 2021

Our Waldo Moment (1 of 2)

These past couple of weeks, I've been watching the television series Black Mirror for the first time. So far I've made it through the first three seasons.

For those of you unfamiliar with the show's concept (as I was, until recently), Black Mirror is an anthology-styled show, with each episode essentially serving as a mini-movie.

There's a strong science fiction element to the show, with the overall theme centering on the human condition balanced against new advancements in technology. Episodes take place from anywhere from present day through certain unspecified times in the future.

And they are--on the whole--dystopic and rather emotionally taxing to watch. (Which is why I limited myself to one episode a day.) With one notable exception ("San Junipero," which is uncharacteristically sweet and heartfelt), episodes range from resembling unsettling fever dreams to, in at least one case for "White Bear," outright horrific nightmares. (Seriously though, "White Bear" has to be perhaps the most abjectly terrifying single hour of television I've ever seen, on multiple different levels.)

Of course, the benefit of binging a series that's already been around for a few years is that--so long as you can avoid spoilers--you can get a feel for the reception of the episodes. And as I moved through the series and read various fan comments, there seemed to be a certain consensus on which episode most fans considered to be the weakest of the offerings.

It was the 2013 episode "The Waldo Moment" from the second season.

With this sort of anti-hype preceding it, I naturally approached "The Waldo Moment" with rather low expectations. And honestly, I was rather glad to do so; "The Waldo Moment" immediately follows "White Bear," and after suffering low level PTSD from that episode, I figured it would be a moment of relative levity in comparison.

However, ironically it was "The Waldo Moment" that ultimately unsettled me more than any other episode of Black Mirror.

The thing is, I can understand how by 2013 standards "The Waldo Moment" might be considered a disappointment. It didn't rely heavily on new technology like many of the other episodes did. And its characters, including its lead, aren't very sympathetic.

However, what made "The Waldo Moment" stand out was ultimately how prophetic it would be several years down the road.

The basis for the "The Waldo Moment" is this (Warning: some spoilers ahead for those who might bother to care)

"Waldo" is a cartoon bear (voiced by the episode's lead character) featured in a segment in a British comedy sketch show. His humor is rather basic and vulgar, typically lodged against politicians and other public figures. However, he's well-received and the show's producers consider giving Waldo a show of his own. And to build publicity for the new Waldo show, the producers come up with a rather unorthodox idea: Have Waldo enter the race for a local parliamentary election, where he could troll (via a video and sound truck) the candidates with his insults.

Initially, the main target of Waldo's insults is the stiff, humorless Tory candidate (the favorite in the race.) However, after the voice actor has a brief romantic fling with the underdog Labour candidate but then is subsequently rebuffed by her, Waldo turns his ire towards her as well.

Of course, at first nobody expects Waldo to win, but the public begins to be won over by Waldo's anti-political, anti-establishment and overall cynical and nihilistic take on politics and government. His "humor" is not actually funny, but rather simply a collection of dick and fart jokes shouted over the tops of the voices of the other candidates, essentially drowning out legitimate discussion and discourse.

Soon, a considerable public movement grows behind Waldo, who view the acerbic Waldo as a refreshing alternative to tired politics as usual. Eventually, even his voice actor grows disillusioned by his character and he starts telling the public not to vote for Waldo, but it's too late; the producers strip him of his voice and commandeer Waldo for themselves, whose instructions to the public grow concerningly more violent and destructive in nature. And while the dystopic nature of the show doesn't really reveal itself until the post-credits scene, the entire episode seems to revel in cynicism and crude anti-humor, and the public's willingness to buy into that type message.

(Continued below; got 403 error and couldn't post entire message in one post)

September 7, 2021

The groundbreaking nature of Michael K. Williams' character of Omar Little from The Wire.

Needless to say, one look at my screen name and you will know I am a huge fan of the HBO drama series, The Wire.

In fact, along with the 2019 Chernobyl miniseries (another HBO product), I consider it the finest piece of television art I have ever seen, even surpassing the also-exemplary Breaking Bad and The Sopranos drama series.

What made The Wire so unparalleled amongst its peers was that it managed to both create hyper-realistic dialogue brought to life by the actors and screenwriters without an ounce of overwrought melodrama, and still have an air of timeless epic nature about it that evoked literary classic giants such as Shakespeare, Dickens and Balzac.

Front and center to The Wire epic nature was its creation of larger-than-life characters of an almost mythical nature, yet thrust into a very realistic and natural setting. Brother Mazoune. Stringer Bell. Senator Clay Davis. The Barksdales. The Greek.

But ask any fan of The Wire which character left the most indelible mark of them all, you'd be hard pressed to find any better answer than Michael K. Williams' unforgettable portrayal of Omar Little.

Williams played Omar as if transposed straight from a Spaghetti Western onto to the streets of inner city Baltimore. Wearing a long black trench coat and waving a shotgun, his presence in the neighborhood would be announced with frantic cries of "Omar's comin'!," and you would automatically know that whatever was about to unfold, it was not going to be good. And in the end, when all was said and done, you'd often hear Omar whistling "A Hunting We Will Go."

In short, he was quite possibly the greatest bad ass of television bad asses that there was.

However, what was also so epic about Omar was that despite his undeniable bad-assery, his character also epitomized the "bad guy with a code"--a type of anti-hero who despite being a party to some rather horrific actions, still lived within his own set of self-regulating morals. He was an armed robber who shot and killed people for cash, but only targeted the ill-gotten gains of drug dealers, not innocent civilians. He viewed his work as "the game," and lived and ultimately died by that game. And in a television show so uninhibited by language or violent content (one five minute scene famously features the two lead police detectives investigating a crime scene uttering only variations of the word "fuck" ), Omar himself never swore. Probably because he didn't need to, and making him use foul language would just be superfluous.

But one other aspect about Omar's character probably had the most impact on me more than anything else.

Omar Little, perhaps the greatest badass in all of television history, was also gay. But it was how his orientation was portrayed on screen that made it such an impact for the times.

I would not say that I was ever homophobic growing up. I can't say I ever thought people who were gay were any less of a human than myself. But, as a straight male growing up in a smaller semi-rural community, I just didn't have much personal interaction with anyone who was openly gay. I knew very few gay people personally. And therefore, my main experience with gay people was how they were portrayed in the media, like television and the movies.

And growing up in the 90s and early 00s, most of the gay male characters in television and the movies fell into one of two categories.

The first category was to play them strictly for laughs in a comedic as catty, feminized queens, typically sharp tongued and sarcastic with an over-obsession about fashion or other superfluous materialistic subjects. It was a very tight box in which to place people in with very limited ability to transcend that role. At their very best, they might be shown as a supporting friend to a straight female lead character, and nothing more.

The second category was less stereotypical, but just as constraining. Basically these type of gay characters were shown sympathetically, but almost over-beholden and overwhelmed by their own sexual orientation. And so their entire on-screen portrayal becomes a sad lament of the difficulties and struggles of a person tragically unable to escape society's biases and prejudices against gay people and everything that is associated with that. Think--for example--Tom Hanks' portrayal in Philadelphia, which as great as it was, didn't really go beyond the lead character's predicament when dealing with his overall identity.

Then Omar Little came along, and he pretty much shattered these pre-existing media characterizations of gay males on screen.

Here was the prototypical bad-ass, hyper-masculine who just happened to be gay. No overdone lisp or desire to break into drag or other trappings of how gay males were portrayed, no inner turmoil about his own orientation--the matter-of-factness of how his sexual orientation was portrayed was both refreshing and groundbreaking in how it guided the greater public's perception of gays and more accepting and open attitude that followed.

And while the shift towards mainstream acceptance of the gay community by the heterosexual community that took place from the late 00s to early 10s culminated by moments like marriage equality certainly couldn't be attributed solely to Omar Little, William's portrayal of that character was nonetheless a watershed moment for straight people like myself who just didn't have much exposure to gay people in general. And strange as it seems, it helped progress people's mindsets for the better in that way.

I was a huge fan of Michael K. Williams' work, not just in The Wire, but in other shows such as Boardwalk Empire as well. He had all the makings of someone who rose to prominence later in his life but could very well have continued to play great roles well into his senior years. He was taken from us far too soon.

However, his performance as Omar Little from The Wire is one that I think speaks far beyond just its importance to television but our overall society as well.

July 23, 2021

BREAKING NEWS: Fox News takes clear, unequivocal stance on vaccines.

As the nation faces a recent surge of new Covid-19 cases brought on by the Delta variant of the virus, several prominent figures on the Fox News network have stepped forward to make strong statements on vaccinations for the disease for their audience, a significant part of which has been described as being vaccine hesitant.

"I cannot be any more clear about this," Fox and Friends' host Brian Kilmeade said on his morning program. "At no point, during all times, nobody should never not always be thinking about never abstaining from not getting the vaccine."

"Don't not wait until it's too soon," Kilmeade's co-host Steve Doocy added.

Other Fox personalities were quick to echo this unambiguous sentiment.

"What is the risk of a person contracting a serious case of this virus versus the risk of any sort of side effects one might suffer from its vaccine?" Fox anchor Bret Bair asked his audience. "It's very obvious that the answer to this important question involves numbers."

"It's maybe very important to think about definitely possibly considering whether or not to weigh the options of immediately desiring to get vaccinated as soon as possible at some unspecified point in the distant future, perhaps today or some point thereafter," primetime host Sean Hannity told viewers.

The network's message on vaccines did not evade Fox's most popular host, either.

"Should you get the Covid vaccine?" host Tucker Carlson asked on his show. "The answer to that question should be very clear, and it's that our kindergarteners are being brainwashed into hating Mr. Potatohead by woke socialist teachers unions using Critical Race Theory!"

Details at Eleven.

June 11, 2021

A message to the Former Office Occupant:

By now, many of us have had the pleasure to read your latest tidbit of online wisdom/mindless word salad. I won’t bother repeating it, but it’s clear that you have telegraphed your true feelings to the world quite well.

For it is quite clear from what you wrote that you consider your current President not to be Joe Biden, the duly elected and sworn leader of the country in which you live—a man you refer to nothing except simply “Biden”—but rather the Russian leader Vladimir Putin, of whom you brag you gained his “respect” and who you so warmly and venerably refer to as “President Putin.”

This of course is a anti-democratic autocrat who has stifled dissent, attacked and interfered in our elections and institutions, invaded his neighbors and seized their lands, and most recently poisoned his chief political rival and then imprisoned him for the crime of surviving.

We get it. You view Vladimir Putin, and not Joe Biden, as your President. And if that’s your true feeling, that’s fine. Who am I to force you to feel otherwise?

But you know what that means, don’t you?

It means if it’s the Russian President who you consider your President, you’ve got to move there.

And for the record, at this point I’m more than fine with it. Yes, part of me yearns to see you summoned to court and spend the rest of your living days in some correctional facility under either federal, New York or Georgia jurisdiction.

But that will take time and frankly we’re all quite sick of you and just want you out of our hair.

Now, your new President Putin might see fit to put you up in a villa in Rostov-on-Don, like he did for Viktor Yanukovych. Or maybe he’ll stick you in a godforsaken one bedroom Khrushchyovka in frigid Norilsk. I suppose that’s just a risk you’ll have to take.

But I can see no more fitting ending to you legacy if you were to spend your last days confirming to the country and the world what we knew you were but what you so desperately tried to deny:

A Russian asset, useful idiot to Putin and traitor to the United States of America.

June 3, 2021

The Trumpist smear campaign against Dr. Fauci is just so disheartening to watch.

Don't get me wrong; he's far from the first person the Trumpists have targeted with malicious lies, disinformation, and overt threats. And while their attacks against Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden were absolutely repulsive, because they were overt political figures, at least I was more or less prepared for it.

But Dr. Fauci is an apolitical lifelong civil servant. He was called up to the task force by the Trump administration, and for a while was something of a unicorn: a person working with the Trump White House who was actually highly qualified and competent for the job that was assigned to him.

And yet now the Trumpist cult seeks to tear him down, destroy his reputation and utterly vilify him. They want to push an absurd and false narrative that he somehow conspired with the Chinese government to create Covid-19. I don't know how many right wing blue checks on social media have literally called for him to be imprisoned for imaginary offenses.

And what is the reason for all of this? It's simple.


Petty jealousy and nothing more.

In 2020, when the virus began to rage and Donald Trump stood at the podium and rattled off the most ridiculous nonsense, lies and dangerous misinformation, most Americans were desperate for a voice of calm reason and sanity. And thankfully, Dr. Fauci provided that for Americans. And so, he became quite a popular figure to the public, across the board, regardless of one's political affiliation. Because if you couldn't trust anyone else, at least you could trust Dr. Fauci.

Now, if Trump was politically savvy, he could have attempted to "own" Dr. Fauci. He could have claimed all the credit for bringing this extremely popular figure on board and thus tried to hone in on the goodwill that surrounded him. Perhaps that might have been a little bit disingenuous, but at least it would been a good move politically.

But Trump isn't smart or saavy; he's a repulsive, malignantly narcissistic creature who is bitter and resentful towards others getting the attention he insist is due to him. He hated that people trusted Dr. Fauci and didn't trust him. He hated that Dr. Fauci provided an air of calm whereas all he created was confusion and chaos.

And so, he set out to destroy him. And so did all his syncophantic Death Eater followers, because where they went one, they went all.

All of this was tragic because throughout all of this Dr. Fauci has remained the consummate professional. He has never made anything about politics. Hell, he really hasn't publicly and overtly criticized Trump, instead focusing on the long game of solving this virus.

And he seems like a genuinely decent and good guy to boot. Which is why--much like President Biden for the same reasons--most ordinary, regular-minded Americans continue to approve of what he's doing.

But the Trumpists have gone insane with jealousy over him and are hellbent in trying to destroy his reputation. Double so now that Trump is out of office and Biden is in, and now Fauci is Biden's man. Their most recent efforts center around emails (what else?) to and from from Dr. Fauci obtained from a FOIA request. There's nothing really shocking there--most notable was a shift in his approach to masks very early on in the pandemic but nothing that we didn't already know.

But they're already creating false narratives and conspiracy theories out of them. I've even seen some blatantly fabricated false emails floating around.

And it's just so depressing and disheartening to go after a decent, highly intelligent and qualified guy all because they are insanely jealous and bitter that their guy was an unmitigated disaster.

It tears me up for whatever reason. I just feel so bad for the guy. He doesn't deserve this at all.

June 2, 2021

BREAKING NEWS: With blog now scuttled, Trump's staff orders 24-7 boat parades to liven his spirits.

News that former President Donald Trump's blog--entitled "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump" has been shuttered due to a lack of public interest and engagement has left his handlers racing to distract the former President from his most recent failure.

And the leading solution to bring Trump out of his post-blog doldrums?

A procession of perpetually ongoing boat parades, to be carried out 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, in front of whichever residence Trump is currently calling home at the given moment.

Sources close to Trump say that the multi-vessel cavalcade--replete with boats flying at least a dozen Trump flags a piece and bikini clad women wearing Make American Great Again hats dancing on their bow--will parade itself in an endless loop in front of Trump's residence, whether or not the former President was actually watching.

"Basically, it's the intent that he might be watching at any given moment more so than his physical presence actually be required for the parades to take place," one individual stated. "We'll just assume he's always there as the boats pass on by."

While Mar-a-Lago--Trump's large Florida estate located along the Intercoastal Waterway in Palm Beach--naturally lends itself to such events, other Trump residences that are not located in close proximity to any major bodies of water--such as his Bedminster Golf Club in New Jersey--pose some greater logistical challenges.

Trump's staff was quick to come up with an alternative option.

"We will still have a boat parade when Donald's in Bedminster, except that the boats in that case will be pulled by trucks," a staffer said. "Naturally, the trucks themselves will also be flying Trump flags and have women in bikinis, so really it would be a boat parade and a truck parade all in one. The best of both worlds, really."

"For Mar-a-Lago, we actually considered the converse, where the boats would be pulling trucks," the staffer added. "However, we were forced to abandon that idea when we realized that the trucks would ultimately sink to the bottom of the water."

That was not the only idea that Trump's staffers ultimately decided against.

"We briefly thought about having goats with Trump flags mounted to them constantly roaming the Bedminister grounds," the Trump staffer said. "So, yes, that's right. Goat Parades. However, the goats we ordered for this project turned out to be...well, let's just say, not so cooperative."

"Basically, it was a massive, unruly goat orgy," he noted. "It detracted from the true MAGA spirit that we thought would best delight Donald's whims and fancies. And isn't that what should really matter?"


Profile Information

Member since: Tue Jul 10, 2007, 03:49 PM
Number of posts: 43,358
Latest Discussions»Tommy Carcetti's Journal