The Donald the Loser: The Price of Cheap Laughs

dtimagesCall it a Loser Boomerang.  Being a bully cuts both ways. Back when he seemed so inevitable, Donald Trump would do anything for a cheap laugh– mock a disabled reporter, taunt Jeb Bush like a schoolyard bully, make bathroom jokes about Hillary Clinton. But, as he is only beginning to discover, there is a price for cheap laughs.images-1
When the tables turn on a bully, they turn with a well-deserved vengeance. The Donald woke up the day after his Iowa defeat to find his name linked to Loser.com. A commentator and Jeb Bush supporter on MSNBC unleashed her Donald impression first thing in the morning, branding Trump in Trump tones the night’s biggest looooser.images
If it were anyone else, I’d feel some sympathy. Instead I feel a relief as if a fever had broken. Maybe America and the GOP have not gone completely round the bend after all. Maybe we are not doomed to The Donald. We can thank, partly, Iowa Nice for refusing to drink the Trump campaign Koolaid.
But Nice alone cannot defeat Mean. You must fight fire with fire. So credit must go to the mean-spirited but tireless Ted Cruz, who marched through 99 Iowa counties to roundly defeat the lazier more arrogant Trump.
As MSNBC noted, ‘Trump has a ceiling and he has reached it.” Or as Larry King, a former king of our celebrity culture himself, once observed: America gorges itself on a story, then pauses, then belches. I don’t dare think the Donald is vanquished, but I think America the celebrity glutton has reached that pause before the final big belch.
Then maybe we can begin to clear the air.

(photos: business.com)

CM Author Photo-2Casey Martinson is a writer from Ithaca, NY, currently enrolled in the Stonecoast MFA program at University of Southern Maine. He holds a BA in English Literature from Oberlin College. Check out his tumblr page here.

We’ll Always Have Potedaia

by Casey Martinson

I don’t remember our first time watching Xena: Warrior Princess but I’m sure it happened by accident, early senior year, 1998. The day’s classes behind us, I can imagine myself absently channel surfing on our thrift store couch as you prepared the afternoon tea. (For legal reasons, I’m going to say it was tea.) Probably, there wasn’t much on.


Season FourI’m sure we watched ironically at first, smirking at the low production values of an early episode: the amusing twang of a bit character’s New Zealand accent, a CGI monster that looked about as life-like as the stop-motion Gorgon from Clash of the Titans, Xena’s lamentably trampish Season One make-up, designed no doubt to entice straight, adolescent males.[1]


Yet, as September died into October, we progressed from watching accidentally to tuning in on purpose when the opportunity presented itself to recording every glorious minute on VHS: Monday through Friday afternoon re-runs, and once a week, the newest episode in Season Four.


I still remember the evening I came home at the appointed time to find that another of our housemates had already claimed the television to watch Party of Five. When she refused to cede control of the remote, I stormed off to my room and fantasized about Xena murdering all the Salinger siblings in a berserker rage. That’s when I knew: I had reached a new level of fandom.


We seemed to have discovered the Warrior Princess at the very height of her cultural impact. Lucy Lawless hosting Saturday Night Live joined our collection of tapes. Then Lawless on the Today Show. We did not go home for Thanksgiving, but stayed in our drab little house on Pleasant Street to watch the all-day Xena marathon on USA. My mother drove from three hours away to make sure we had a proper dinner. Continue Reading »

donald-trumpTRUMPed: Can Celebrity Nation Escape the President We Deserve?

Update: and here’s one more reason we need to escape our Trumped fate; Hillary is vindicated; she saw it coming that Trump’s Muslim comments are used to recruit terrorists.

In a nation where celebrity ‘trumps’ all, we deserve The Donald we may wind up electing.  Can we escape that fate?  Half the country now states they’d be ’embarrassed’ by a Trump presidency.  His latest foray into toilet jokes and sexist slurs might please his crowds, but women make up over half the voting populace.  Many of us are sick of arrogant men running down women– and running this country.

Frank Bruni points out in his Dec. 26 NYT column that Donald Trump’s ‘disgust’ over Hillary Clinton’s bathroom break is but the tip of the ‘icky’ iceberg in Trump’s juvenile obsession with female bodily fluids.  He famously mocked Megyn Kelly as ‘bleeding’ from unnamable organs and allegedly screamed at a woman in a meeting who left to pump breastmilk that she was ‘disgusting,’

To state the obvious, Donald is the one who embodies the D-word– not only ‘Disgusting’ but ‘Disgraceful.’  For his capital-D  Dissing of women, Muslims, Mexicans and much more, Trump trumps all other candidates for Disgraced Celebrity of 2015 (his second time claiming this prize!).

dtimagesEarlier this year on this blog, Luis Luque described The Donald as “a myth, a legend, a reality TV star, a corporation, a misogynist, a prognosticator, a Twitter feed, a brand, a bully, a braggart, a boor, a ratings bonanza, a bombastic billionaire buffoon blinded by ego, a bloviating blowhard for the entertainment of the blogosphere, a bumbling big-mouthed businessman blundering back and forth between banks and bankruptcy, and perhaps most surprising of all, a serious presidential candidate—at least in the minds of people fooled by what they think sounds like blunt talk about important issues.”idtmages-1

Penny2 offers this New Years Wish/Curse for the GOP:

“I am just partisan enough to wish Cruz on the Republicans for the supreme pleasure of watching Hillary wipe the floor with him.  I am not partisan enough to wish Trump on them.  Let’s not give one more second of media time to his awful musings.”

Thanks, Penny and Luis.  As Will Ferrell as George W. Bush observed on SNL, the GOP voters do not want someone who knows how to govern.  They want someone who is ‘Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs‘… Our country is irreversibly and certifiably Cukoo for Celebrities.  We made Trump what he is today. Will we make him President as well?

(photos, Washington Post, Daily Beast, via Google Images)

AWP 09CONGRATS to JOYCE PERSEROFF on the publication of her latest collection of Poetry: KNOW THYSELF, including a poem first published on our blog.

imagesJoyce was inspired by this bizarre 2009 news story: Surrogate mother of Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick’s new twins robbed of ‘personal items’ by celeb.-obsessed police in Ohio.

Joyce Peseroff’s poetry collections include Eastern Mountain Time (Carnegie Mellon, 2006). She teaches in  the MFA in Creative Writing at UMass Boston. Photo: Parker and Broderick photo from viralscape.com/Googleimages; photo from author (right): Joyce & star writers (l to r) Stephanie Vanderslice, Jeremy Lakaszcyck and Brian Bouldrey.

POEM from the new collection KNOW THYSELF


(For two police chiefs charged with stealing items from a celebrity’s surrogate, with apologies to James Wright)

In East Ohio Regional Hospital
Sarah Jessica Parker and Matt Broderick embrace
newborn twins, gray face of the surrogate
exhausted as a chief of police
who dreams of celebrities

starved for love, the tabloids clucking
and whispering ways to make a buck

from contract faxes, poetry framed on a fridge,
pix of ultrasounds, and a belly cast
lifted from an undisclosed location
the chief and his partner disclosed for $1000.
All the city fathers are ashamed

of officers who risk doing time,
their mug shots in The New York Times,
time galloping terribly against the proud bodies
of birth and adoptive moms,
beautiful daughters and sons.

by Joyce Peseroff

Check out the BOOK TRAILER for Linda’s new novel!
Linda K. Sienkiewicz is the author of In the Context of Love, a newly released novel that deals with love, family secrets and sexual violence. She is widely published in print and online.  

Visit Linda’s  website.

CHRISSIE HYNDE: Rock N’ Roll but No Role Model

by Linda K. Sienkiewicz

Chrissie Hynde, rebel rocker from The Pretenders, has stunned feminists (along with most sensible men and women) by claiming it was her fault when several bikers drove her to an abandoned house and sexually assaulted her. She says she brought it upon herself for trying to play nice with guys who have “I (heart) rape” written on their t-shirts: “Technically speaking, however you want to look at it, this was all my doing and I take full responsibility.”images-2

Many women view Hynde as a heroine and a feminist, but there are things about her that never set quite right with me. Consider the lyrics to “977” from “Last of the Independents”:

He cried because of me
He hit me with his belt
But his tears were all I feltimages-1
When I saw my baby cry
I knew he loved me

When you try and cut me down
And push me back
If I attack your attitude
I rise up to the challenge ’cause
I like to taste the sugar of your violent mood

I think most people would agree that love is not hitting your lover with a belt, and violent moods have nothing to do with sugary sweetness. Her recent statements about rape have convinced me she isn’t worthy of my admiration for anything other than some good tunes. Continue Reading »


Luque PhotoLuis M. Luque is still struggling to finish his first novel. He served as a U.S. Navy mass communications specialist for 20 years and now works as a writer-editor. He is also a 2010 graduate of the Stonecoast MFA program. He and his wife, Vera, live in Newnan, Georgia.

How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Donald

by Luis M. Luque

dtimagesDonald Trump is a man, a human being. So we’re told anyway. Whatever he is, Trump is also a myth, a legend, a reality TV star, a corporation, a misogynist, a prognosticator, a Twitter feed, a brand, a bully, a braggart, a boor, a ratings bonanza, a bombastic billionaire buffoon blinded by ego, a bloviating blowhard for the entertainment of the blogosphere, a bumbling big-mouthed businessman blundering back and forth between banks and bankruptcy, and perhaps most surprising of all, a serious presidential candidate—at least in the minds of people fooled by what they think sounds like blunt talk about important issues.idtmages-1

A friend of mine believes Trump is a Democrat masquerading as a conservative Republican, that, in other words, he’s a troll, a living showcase for some of the GOP’s worst excesses—jingoism, racism, arrogance, lack of concern for the most vulnerable—and as such, my friend believes, Trump is herding voters toward the more sensible, or least harmful, political party. How I wish it were so.

I see Trump as an old-style tent revivalist minus religion, a carnival barker who barks only in superlatives, “I’ll build the biggest and wall ….” “I’ll get the best deal from the Chinese ….” “Hillary Clinton is the worst secretary of state ….” Trump uses an old playbook in new ways, all for his personal glorification. It’s a wildly successful playbook, but those taken in by its two basic schemes tend to regret briefly and forgive themselves too soon for being fooled, before they immediately begin falling for the next charlatan (Ben Carson? Ted Cruz? Rand Paul? Mike Huckabee?) to pick up the old dog-eared copy and wrap it in a shiny new cover.

The two basic schemes of these old-style fear mongers are nativism and populism. Nativism is probably one of the oldest effective political tactics we know. It consists of blaming an Other, usually an Outsider, for most of a nation’s problems. Continue Reading »

Michael BarryMichael Barry is a writer who lives in Boston, MA. He received his B.A. in Financial Economics from St. Anselm College and his MFA in Creative Writing from the Stonecoast Program at the University of Southern Maine. Check him out at MichaelBarryWriter.com.


by Michael Barry

A lot of things have been said about Justin Bieber since he jumped onto the music scene and into tabloids. Not that truth and myth are all that different anymore. I have been a fan of the music though not so much the person. I find it hard to blame him though, for how things have gone down. It wasn’t hard to predict.

jbimages-1So when I saw Bieber break down on stage last night it wasn’t exactly a new thing. Anybody remember Selena crying on stage, or in that music video? This isn’t really new ground for anyone involved. Plus the obvious VMA publicity machine. The perfect place for temper-tantrums and quasi-cries for help. MTV: The celebrity good Samaritans.

And as I watched Justin cry and heard that Selena had already left, I couldn’t help thinking that it is probably so much more than them, that this could be a cry for help from someone who has nobody to cry to. Justin Bieber might actually be hurting. It’s hard to recognize that these people have feelings, but anyone who watched the “Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber” could tell how uncomfortable he was being piled upon like that. There’s a pretty simple explanation: he cares. Continue Reading »


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