Inaugural Poem For A Fake President

He plows into town, like a spray-tanned gator,
Each word from his mouth, the word of a hater.
He tweets and he whines, and never shuts his trap,
It’s gotta go somewhere, all that backed up crap.

With a barreled out chest, and face like a flare,
Little tiny fingers, and really weird hair,
He huffs and he puffs, and claims he’ll drain the swamp,
But he’s much too like, the punk who wrote Mein Kampf.

Says hacking didn’t matter to his great big win,
That his opponent was flawed, not superb like him.
Cause he is number one, the best there ever was,
The proof came at rallies, when he spunked from applause.

He loves to cast insult, to mock and put down,
Yet his own skin’s thinner than a see-thru gown.
Swaggers boasts lies, and super duper pushy
Stay clear of his reach, he grabs by the pussy.

We’re ready to resist, this threat to our nation,
And at the right time perform solemn castration.
He’s a load of malarkey, so full of bullshit,
He isn’t White-House-ready, just a lewd misfit.

Suckin all up to the gangster named Putin
Peas in a pod who love shootin and lootin,
Shallow evil men, but it hardly matters,
They have each other, to endorse and flatter.

He loads up his cabinet, with crooked billionaires,
Then curses like a sailor, to show he has no airs.
So lets be very clear, that money is his culture,
He’d make a better leader for a flock of vultures.

Says it all be gettin great with the building of a wall
But the bookies are making a quite different call,
Like his airline and his school, and Atlantic City,
He’ll line his own pockets, and leave the country shitty.

Each day we shall defy, this menace to our planet,
He’ll never get a statue in marble or granite.
We’ll make sure his place in all the history books,
Is worst ever scoundrel, chief mogul of the crooks.

Many People Are Saying That Donald Trump Was Born In Moscow

It should come as no surprise that a conciliatory Hillary Clinton is behaving with courtesy and tact toward the president elect. Or that the outgoing president is preparing for a peaceful transfer of power. All of that is as it should be, given the history of our democracy. No matter that the Donald saw fit to keep us in suspense about how he would behave if he lost an election, which by definition, would have been rigged if he hadn’t won it. We’ve always expected Hillary and Barack to act like rational adults, and unsurprisingly, they have done so.

But none of that means that the rest of us need to be conciliatory or tactful. Rather, it’s time for a little Alt-Left action.

This madman’s takeover of the American government with the material support and overt blessings of a foreign power is something that we need to loudly resist from day one, and relentlessly pursue until the day we reclaim our sovereignty as a nation.

We must demand to see Trump’s original long form birth certificate, since many people are saying that he was born in Moscow instead of Queens, as he frequently claims without being very convincing.

Conspiracy theory, you see, is not something that you need to feel in your heart in order to use it as an effective tactic. Civil rights, living wages, women’s rights, healthcare, LGBT rights, global warming, freedom of religion, our history as a nation of immigrants, common civility, and truth itself have transformed into collateral issues for the winning of elections.

Unrelenting and deeply divisive rhetoric is what matters, and it is high time that the left start to hone its skills in that department.

The formula is fairly simple:

a grain of truth no matter how small +

bombastically boisterous hyperbole +

never ending shameless repetition

It is more important than ever for us to see Trump’s taxes, since many people are saying that until right before he announced his candidacy he was on the payroll of the Kremlin.

Let the investigations begin, let them multiply daily, and let them go on for the next four years, into the details of how he coordinated with foreign governments and hackers to compromise a U.S. election. Maybe he did, maybe he didn’t, but we’ll never know for sure unless we investigate and talk about it every single day.

The key, you see, is to delegitimize. And there are many more grounds for doing it than was ever the case with Barack Obama, who won the popular vote both times by wide margins without the overt assistance of any foreign powers. How could Hillary have won the popular vote and yet lost Pennsylvania? Many people are saying that Vladimir Putin invested millions in that outcome.

Nothing less than a special prosecutor will let us uncover the truth of how Trump surrogates plotted inside the FBI to encourage leaks and rebellion that decisively aided and abetted one candidate, the candidate promising free reign to racially and religiously profile.

By Wednesday morning the hashtag #NotMyPresident had been stapled to half a million tweets. Spontaneous protests erupted in dozens of major cities, even as Clinton and Obama were calling on us to give Trump a chance to unite and lead the country.

No thank you. Let not even people I respect speak to me of coming together as a nation or uniting behind this nutcase. We must fight from day one with every tool in the toolbox. That’s how it works from now on.

I’m sorry, when in coming years I keep calling him a madman or psychotic, if that makes you feel less secure. You are less secure, period. It is no time for denial. The actual menace will not become magically less if we pretend it is not there. When the Donald’s approval ratings sink into the teens and he’s wandering the halls of the White House tweeting at 3 am like Macbeth with a smartphone, no doubt the risks will be even greater. But letting him have a smooth path from the beginning would make things worse in the long run.

It is high time to tune out the chatter of mainstream pundits and their pointless polling apparatus, and never listen to them again.

Over and over they coached the madman about how to stay on message, stick to his opponent’s weaknesses, not show who he really was, set aside his vindictive nature and act like somebody else, somebody who might be perceived as more presidential.

Again and again they treated the election like no more than a sporting event, glibly suggesting better strategies that the campaign eventually adopted. The electionsportscasters utterly failed to face the reality that this was a struggle for the heart and soul of our nation.

Time after time they framed the vote as a choice between the lesser of two evils, even as the madman himself accused them of tipping their hand because they knew which candidate was more dangerous by ten thousand percent. Enough of all that. They are disgraced. I never want to hear any of their voices or see any of their faces again.

Rather, it’s time to take a page from the playbook of the Alt-Right, which is what finally put this election into the column of the candidate born in Moscow.

Because, you see, it doesn’t really matter if he was or wasn’t  born in Moscow instead of Queens, or if Vladimir Putin is his half-brother, even though many reliable sources are saying, and his behavior strongly suggests, that it’s almost certain.

Best Moving Pictures of 2015

The cultural event of 2015 was not a book or a play or a film. Rather, it was two late-in-the-year essays by Rebecca Solnit that caused quite a stir among those with a distorted affection for the good ole days: 80 Books No Woman Should Read and Men Explain Lolita To Me.

MadMaxWomen

I won’t rehash here Solnit’s entire poke in the eye at our cultural patriarchy, but do want to suggest that her critique is the same reflection in a different pond of #OscarsSoWhite. And the poking has only just begun.

People standing in the bread line for handouts of inclusion are starting to get really annoyed at how rigged the system is. Culturally, it all meanders back around to which narratives qualify as significant in our society and which ones “belong” on the fringe. Are the narrative arts an opportunity to experience empathy bridges to the lives and stories of “others?” Or are they a tool for flaunting narratives that made the good ole days not so good at all?

It’s not just a question of who the nominees are, who the directors are, or who is picking out the stories to begin with. It’s a question of whether or not these priestly editors of our culture have any genuine curiosity at all about the experience of “others?” Mary MacNamara nails the heart of the problem in her great LA Times piece: Oscars 2016: It’s time for Hollywood to stop defining great drama as white men battling adversity.

The links above to Solnit and McNamara’s essays are of far greater interest than the rest of what I have to say in this silly top 10 movie list thing that I do every year. If you’re pressed for time, click through to those gems and forget about what’s below. I’m not going to splain to you directly why movies such as The Revenant and The Martian and Bridge of Spies failed to achieve the great honor of going on my list, so the only way to understand those omissions is to read what Solnit and McNamara have to say about it.

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road. The first 3 movies on this list were a photo finish from the standpoint of great story and impeccable filmmaking. But Mad Max got extra credit points for being a spectacle like no other. It’s an amazing feat of cinema, subtle at the micro level of relationships and finely-painted detail, plus breathtaking at the macro level of epic sequences and epic themes. I look forward to watching this film again and again over the years and seeing something new every time.
  1. Carol. What was it like to be a lesbian during the McCarthy era in the United States? Well, if you have any curiosity at all about the experience of “others,” you will find this film mesmerizing from start to finish. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara give amazing performances that first and foremost serve the story. The things I most want to say about it would amount to spoilers. See this film.
  1. Spotlight. Investigative reporters working relentlessly to right a wrong. That’s like a genre unto itself, right? But all too often the formula’s bones stick out like an emaciated movie of the week. This film raises the bar on the genre, and the ensemble of its brilliant performances strikes methodically at something real: that the world gets changed for the better by groups of dedicated people, not heroes.
  1. Chi-Raq. Spike Lee’s best film since Do The Right Thing. He injects a unique brand of absurdity into the horror of the gun reality so as to do true justice to the insanity involved. One can only hope that Lee has given up on the Hollywood pipeline and will keep following the cue of his wicked tragicomic imagination. His jaggedy-edged depiction of the American experience is one of the few voices out there that gives it any coherence at all.
  1. Inside Out. Likely to win Best Animated Feature, but should have been nominated for Best Picture. Way better than most of the paint-by-numbers flatulence out there, both in animation and live action. Shouldn’t filmmaking awards, if they need to exist at all, pay special attention to originality? You won’t see a more original movie this year.
  1. Experimenter. Ever heard of the “obedience experiments” conducted by psychologist Stanley Milgram to test why/how people obey authority even when they feel it’s wrong to do so? With the trial of Adolph Eichmann lingering in the background, subjects give ever-increasing electrical shocks to their fellow human beings. And the film itself is an experiment, grafting together mutually exclusive genres with in-your-face Brechtian chutzpah.
  1. White God. A self-organized pack of street dogs starts a rebellion against the human oppressors. It is rare for a film that is so openly metaphorical (and in many different arenas at once) to also grip your attention from start to finish while never overplaying its hand around the underlying meaning. This film puts Kornél Mundruczó on the map of world cinema, and I can’t wait to see more of his work.
  1. The Big Short. On the surface it’s such a playful film, but rumbling underneath that playfulness is a harsh indictment of crimes that most people would never sit through were they being exposed in documentary form. I so hope that this film is just a first step in Adam McKay using his considerable comedic talents to make more ‘serious’ films. A definite dark horse for Best Picture (along with Mad Max and Spotlight) that might deny a gold statue to that pretentiously man’s man film about bloody revenge in the snow.
  1. Straight Outta Compton. Okay, so maybe you have no interest in rap music or the culture that surrounds it. But aren’t you at least curious about where it came from, and more importantly… WHY? This film often feels like a documentary where the camera (surprisingly!) keeps rolling even as its subjects spiral out of control. Shame on the Academy for ignoring it.
  1. Steve Jobs. Michael Fassbender gives the performance of the year as the title character, and the greatest moment in the film exemplifies why the Academy snubbed it. “It’s not binary. You can be decent and gifted at the same time,” says Seth Rogan in the role of Steve Wozniak. That is the theme of the entire movie in a nutshell, and not surprisingly, anathema to Hollywood’s paradigm of rewards and punishments. Too many people would have to hand back all of their awards if having talent wasn’t considered a lifetime license to be an asshat.

 

Honorable mentions: A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, Anomalisa, Beasts of No Nation, Best of Enemies, Brooklyn, Ex Machina, Heart of a Dog, Love and Mercy, Phoenix, Room, Seymour: An Introduction, Tangerine, The Duke of Burgundy, The Danish Girl, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, The Hunting Ground, The Look of Silence, The Visit, Trainwreck, Trumbo, What Happened, Miss Simone?, World of Tomorrow.

(Note: following films not yet screened as of the above opinionating: The Lobster, Son of Saul, Jafar Panahi’s Taxi, Arabian Nights, Timbuktu, Creed, Concussion, The Assassin, The Tribe, Youth, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, Mustang)

 

Best Moving Pictures of 2015

The cultural event of 2015 was not a book or a play or a film. Rather, it was two late-in-the-year essays by Rebecca Solnit that caused quite a stir among those with a distorted affection for the good ole days: 80 Books No Woman Should Read and Men Explain Lolita To Me.

MadMaxWomen

I won’t rehash here Solnit’s entire poke in the eye at our cultural patriarchy, but do want to suggest that her critique is the same reflection in a different pond of #OscarsSoWhite. And the poking has only just begun.

People standing in the bread line for handouts of inclusion are starting to get really annoyed at how rigged the system is. Culturally, it all meanders back around to which narratives qualify as significant in our society and which ones “belong” on the fringe. Are the narrative arts an opportunity to experience empathy bridges to the lives and stories of “others?” Or are they a tool for flaunting narratives that made the good ole days not so good at all?

It’s not just a question of who the nominees are, who the directors are, or who is picking out the stories to begin with. It’s a question of whether or not these priestly editors of our culture have any genuine curiosity at all about the experience of “others?” Mary MacNamara nails the heart of the problem in her great LA Times piece: Oscars 2016: It’s time for Hollywood to stop defining great drama as white men battling adversity.

The links above to Solnit and McNamara’s essays are of far greater interest than the rest of what I have to say in this silly top 10 movie list thing that I do every year. If you’re pressed for time, click through to those gems and forget about what’s below. I’m not going to splain to you directly why movies such as The Revenant and The Martian and Bridge of Spies failed to achieve the great honor of going on my list, so the only way to understand those omissions is to read what Solnit and McNamara have to say about it.

  1. Mad Max: Fury Road. The first 3 movies on this list were a photo finish from the standpoint of great story and impeccable filmmaking. But Mad Max got extra credit points for being a spectacle like no other. It’s an amazing feat of cinema, subtle at the micro level of relationships and finely-painted detail, plus breathtaking at the macro level of epic sequences and epic themes. I look forward to watching this film again and again over the years and seeing something new every time.
  1. Carol. What was it like to be a lesbian during the McCarthy era in the United States? Well, if you have any curiosity at all about the experience of “others,” you will find this film mesmerizing from start to finish. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara give amazing performances that first and foremost serve the story. The things I most want to say about it would amount to spoilers. See this film.
  1. Spotlight. Investigative reporters working relentlessly to right a wrong. That’s like a genre unto itself, right? But all too often the formula’s bones stick out like an emaciated movie of the week. This film raises the bar on the genre, and the ensemble of its brilliant performances strikes methodically at something real: that the world gets changed for the better by groups of dedicated people, not heroes.
  1. Chi-Raq. Spike Lee’s best film since Do The Right Thing. He injects a unique brand of absurdity into the horror of the gun reality so as to do true justice to the insanity involved. One can only hope that Lee has given up on the Hollywood pipeline and will keep following the cue of his wicked tragicomic imagination. His jaggedy-edged depiction of the American experience is one of the few voices out there that gives it any coherence at all.
  1. Inside Out. Likely to win Best Animated Feature, but should have been nominated for Best Picture. Way better than most of the paint-by-numbers flatulence out there, both in animation and live action. Shouldn’t filmmaking awards, if they need to exist at all, pay special attention to originality? You won’t see a more original movie this year.
  1. Experimenter. Ever heard of the “obedience experiments” conducted by psychologist Stanley Milgram to test why/how people obey authority even when they feel it’s wrong to do so? With the trial of Adolph Eichmann lingering in the background, subjects give ever-increasing electrical shocks to their fellow human beings. And the film itself is an experiment, grafting together mutually exclusive genres with in-your-face Brechtian chutzpah.
  1. White God. A self-organized pack of street dogs starts a rebellion against the human oppressors. It is rare for a film that is so openly metaphorical (and in many different arenas at once) to also grip your attention from start to finish while never overplaying its hand around the underlying meaning. This film puts Kornél Mundruczó on the map of world cinema, and I can’t wait to see more of his work.
  1. The Big Short. On the surface it’s such a playful film, but rumbling underneath that playfulness is a harsh indictment of crimes that most people would never sit through were they being exposed in documentary form. I so hope that this film is just a first step in Adam McKay using his considerable comedic talents to make more ‘serious’ films. A definite dark horse for Best Picture (along with Mad Max and Spotlight) that might deny a gold statue to that pretentiously man’s man film about bloody revenge in the snow.
  1. Straight Outta Compton. Okay, so maybe you have no interest in rap music or the culture that surrounds it. But aren’t you at least curious about where it came from, and more importantly… WHY? This film often feels like a documentary where the camera (surprisingly!) keeps rolling even as its subjects spiral out of control. Shame on the Academy for ignoring it.
  1. Steve Jobs. Michael Fassbender gives the performance of the year as the title character, and the greatest moment in the film exemplifies why the Academy snubbed it. “It’s not binary. You can be decent and gifted at the same time,” says Seth Rogan in the role of Steve Wozniak. That is the theme of the entire movie in a nutshell, and not surprisingly, anathema to Hollywood’s paradigm of rewards and punishments. Too many people would have to hand back all of their awards if having talent wasn’t considered a lifetime license to be an asshat.

 

Honorable mentions: A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night, Anomalisa, Beasts of No Nation, Best of Enemies, Brooklyn, Ex Machina, Heart of a Dog, Love and Mercy, Phoenix, Room, Seymour: An Introduction, Tangerine, The Duke of Burgundy, The Danish Girl, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, The Hunting Ground, The Look of Silence, The Visit, Trainwreck, Trumbo, What Happened, Miss Simone?, World of Tomorrow.

(Note: following films not yet screened as of the above opinionating: It Follows, The Lobster, Son of Saul, Jafar Panahi’s Taxi, Arabian Nights, Timbuktu, Creed, Concussion, The Assassin, The Tribe, Youth, The Trial of Viviane Amsalem, Mustang)

 

A few thoughts on “How you going to pay for that?”

35 years of unchecked Reaganism have produced perpetual right-wing attacks on the New Deal, Great Society, women’s and civil rights, and any notion of our collective will being employed to curb excessive accumulation of wealth… to the great detriment of general equality and quality of life.

Unabashed Reaganism has become a malignancy in our society and democracy. It has firmly established a strong “no we can’t” mentality, a mentality that is populated mainly by offstage bogeyman economists (Wizard of Oz academics who affirm that what is good for the average American is bad for America), even within the Democratic party.

“How are you going to pay for it?” is not a question only for Bernie Sanders. It’s a question our whole nation and political system should be attempting to answer, but isn’t. People’s daily struggles for the basics constantly get pooh-poohed as “Oh, those people just want handouts,” while in reality the handouts flow faster and faster in the other direction.

Can we afford to spend umpteen times more on our military than any other country? Yes, we can. Can we afford another war or two in the Middle East? Yes, we can. (And yet Cold-War-hungover Reagan Republicans will keep crying wolf that our military standing is on the demise.)

Can we afford universal healthcare that would in the long run save us money by changing course toward a health system rather than a disease system, as it does in every other wealthy nation with universal healthcare? No, we can’t. That we cannot afford. Because that would restructure our economy in a way that a few large industries don’t want. And those very industries have invested enough in politics to have veto power. Which, by the way, explains the entire situation.

I am tired of “no we can’t.” Very, very tired of it.

Hilary Clinton is far, far better than any candidate on the Republican side, and I will vigorously support her if she is the nominee. But meanwhile, I am eternally grateful for the dialogue that Bernie Sanders has injected into this election.

People are extremely dissatisfied with how things are going, and if the most compelling explanation/solution for that does not get presented from the left, it will most certainly get volunteered from the right.

Is Hilary more experienced and more presidential? Absolutely. And lots of people in the know don’t consider Bernie presidential at all.

But also, we truly need a political revolution.

I don’t know how it’s going to play out, but I’m very glad that this is the conversation we’re having. Lets talk about how we’re going to pay for it. Lets put our imaginations to work. But lets not allow what would be best for this country to get vetoed by the question itself.

Press Release – Frank Lee, a novel, by Jeffrey Seeds

Rollerskaters-On-Top-Of-A-Bus Publishing
1316 1/2 Third Avenue, Asbury Park, NJ   07712

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jeffrey Seeds
732-807-3699, JeffSeeds@yahoo.comFrank Lee, a novel, by Jeffrey Seeds, cover

If laughter is the best medicine, take this…

Asbury Park, NJ, September 17, 2015 –   Jeffrey Seeds’ debut novel, Frank Lee, catapults readers playfully around a planet whose own trajectory seems to be toward self-destruction, confirming along the way a suspicion you may have already entertained. It’s not only messed up where you are, but everywhere else as well.

Frank Lee, the literally larger-than-life title character, is 9 feet tall when born to the wealthiest family in the Republic of Texas, but that’s about the end of his good fortune. Home schooled by a heretic and exiled to Mexico by a booze-deranged stepmother, he flees from continent to continent in search of answers, one step ahead of a swelling pack of colorful and bloodthirsty enemies.

Horny pirates and absurd philosophers; religious goofballs and crazed heads of state; secret societies and lesbian anarchists; natural disasters and perversely contorted platitudes; sex, drugs, and hallucinations; all abound. There is a twist, and twisted new oddballs – extraterrestrials even – at every turn.

In the satirical tradition of Swift, Vonnegut and Colbert, no person, place or thing is sacred on Frank Lee’s globe-circling quest. The plausible and implausible weave together into a cliffhanging adventure that ultimately answers all of the questions you’ve ever had about life on Earth.

Seeds is fluent in several Asian and European languages, and he taps into his decades of study and work in a medley of cultures to paint whimsical pictures of the universal human calamity. With backgrounds in painting, film development, and political activism, he sketches poignant landscapes… only to explode them using the tried and true hypocrisies of each landscape’s local inhabitants.

If laughter is the best medicine, this novel may be just what the world needs at the moment.

An early reviewer said: “Dizzying in its scope, traveling through time and history with the most insane group of fellow travelers imaginable (I’ve never before met the Dalai Lama, Kim Jong-un, Karl Rove, and Bucky Fuller on the same page in a novel)… disturbing to easy politics and conventional wisdom…. contradictory rules of life abound, with platitudes and biting political humor spouting from every page… a page-turner from start to finish… ROFLMAO.”   (Jamie Hubbard, Yehan Numata Professor of Buddhist Studies at Smith College)

Review copies and interviews upon request.

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Frank Lee is available on Amazon and other fine book retailers at this link.

This Press Release has been published via the following outlets:

PressBox

PressBox UK

Newswire