“History has many cunning passages” : remembering the remarkable spring of 2009 on January 20, 2017

Jan 20th, 2017 | By | Category: In Brief

. Bird n Diz at Birdland in New York, 1951 – Charlie Parker (alto sax), left, and Dizzy Gillespie (trumpet), right, alleged founding partners of bebop jazz – still the hardest kind of jazz to play properly, according to Charlie Parker’s old colleague, Red Rodney.

What can be said on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration as president of the United States of America? Our view is not much at all.

If we had to pick a quick quotation, we’d go with the passionate cultural conservative T.S. Eliot, who was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and went on to become “the greatest French poet in the English language” in London, England : “History has many cunning passages.” Beyond this, we have two further gestures :

(1) For some time now a piece by our Citizen X from May 2009 has been finishing close to the top of our daily list of visits to more popular postings – “Save the last dance for Manmohan Singh .. democracy in India pulls off a surprise in Obama’s early days.”

Much of the traffic involved  is, we believe, malevolent and spam-oriented. But this piece has been finishing close to the top of our daily numbers for so long now that at least some of its popularity must be authentic.

Accordingly our Dominic Berry has just today quickly knocked together a slightly revised version of the original Citizen X posting (far too long, but you can skip the four appendices) – which we’ve, as it were, re-posted with the following note at the end :

Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (second from left) wearing dark glasses, arrives with members of his new cabinet for swearing in ceremonies at Government House in Ottawa, July 6, 1968. (Doug Ball/CP).

Second  (and as yet only slightly revised) edition, Friday, January 20, 2017. On the day of the inauguration of Donald Trump as president of  the democracy in America that took such a very big step forward during the no-drama presidency of  Barack Hussein Obama, 2009—17. In the firm conviction that something as big in history as the past eight years in the USA can never really be erased or reversed. Especially when the former president concludes his regime with a 60% approval rating from the American people, via the lying pollsters who did manage to get the Hillary Clinton popular vote victory in the 2016 US election right.”

(2) We’ve also been especially impressed by several related news items from the past several days :

* “President-elect Donald Trump will enter the White House Friday with most national security positions still vacant, after a disorganized transition that has stunned and disheartened career government officials.” (From the far-from-left-wing Foreign Policy magazine daily online “Situation Report,” Thursday, January 19, 2017.)

Marshall McLuhan (r) with Woody Allen in Annie Hall, 1977.

* “‘Learning Curve’ as Rick Perry Pursues a Job He Initially Misunderstood,” by Coral Davenport and David E. Sanger in the New York Times, Wednesday, January 18, 2017. See also : “Trump offered Rick Perry a job neither one of them understood” one day later at MSNBC.

* “Scum of the earth lowlife packs a bag for Trump’s inauguration,” by Steve Lopez in the  Los Angeles Times, Wednesday, January 18, 2017. This is both the most intellectually impressive and entertaining lying media piece we’ve come across on the Trump inauguration. (Eg : “So stop bawling, California. We are out of step, thank God, because civil rights, human rights and environmental protection are civic virtues in the Golden State, and we’re going to build a kale-powered bullet train through almond and walnut orchards, come hell or high water … The wall will get built, and we’re still not paying for it … That’s the Trump plan in this new era of magical thinking, details to come … You’re damn right I’m going to Washington … I’ll report back soon on whether I think we should give more thought to secession.”)

Our thanks to the wonderful WWF Bear’s excellent photographer. And congrats to all the brave consenting adults who immersed themselves in Lake Ontario for the future of the planet on March 12, 2015, at Balmy Beach in Toronto. The lake is cold enough in August.

* “President-elect pays out $25-million Trump University settlement,” by Kristina Davis in the Los Angeles Times, Wednesday, January 18, 2017.  (Which nicely begins with : “Three days before his presidential inauguration, Donald Trump paid out $25 million in compliance with the settlement reached in three Trump University lawsuits.”)

Finally, this past Tuesday, October 2, 2016 our editor in chief opined :“as long as there is no real chance of his actually winning, the political career of Donald Trump may finally be more interesting than even he thinks.” On the day of Mr. Trump’s inauguration we have asked Dr. White what he thinks now. And he just said that he plans to visit the overwhelmingly most populous US state of California this spring, to see if it actually has seceded from the union yet!

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