Monday, April 16, 2018

The Idler, Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Furious denials – yet intriguing

FOR those who believe the Trump White House is more like reality TV than anything else, here's something uncanny. According to a book currently making waves, his campaign for the presidency never was intended to do more than establish his brand for a TV network in collaboration with his longtime friend, Roger Ailes, formerly of Fox News. Trump was not supposed to win, did not want to win.

One has some difficulty swallowing this. President Trump has furiously denied the veracity of Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury (Little, Brown). All the same, these 310 pages of high octane gossip – much of it seemingly borne out in developments – make intriguing reading.

Wolff says Trump was right to be concerned about leaks to the media. They flowed on a regular basis from the people closest to him – Steve Bannon, an ultra-rightwinger with an apocalyptic vision of tearing down the existing order and leaving much of the world burning; his son-in-law the "liberal" Jared Kushner (with Ivanka); and Reince Priebus, chief of staff and representing the orthodox Republican Party.

They loathed each other, plotted against each other and regularly briefed the media against each other in their three-way vendetta, according to Wolff.

After the election Trump looked like a man who has seen a ghost when it became clear he'd won, Wolff says. He quotes Bannon on "a befuddled Trump morphing into a disbelieving Trump and then into a quite horrified Trump".

"But still to come was the final transformation: suddenly, Donald Trump became a man who believed that he deserved to be and was wholly capable of being the president of the United States."

Is any of this true? Who can tell? But it would make a great TV soapie.


Weird, scary

SPEAkING of which, events of recent days suggest another blockbuster script.

A London-based doctor and post-graduate opthalmology student switches career path and instead starts butchering and gassing people in their hundreds of thousands.

He goes too far. An estate agent/property developer/reality TV star, a vicar's daughter and a Rothschilds investment banker launch air and seaborne missile strikes on him.

That's right, folks. Bashar al-Bassad was once at the Western Eye Hospital, in London. He went back to Syria when his elder brother died in a car crash.

Theresa May is the vicar's daughter. Trump the estate agent/property/developer/reality TV star. Emmanuel Macron was an investment banker with Rothschilds. What a cast!

But if you'd presented that script to anyone say 10 years ago, they'd have rolled around laughing.

A weird and scary world we live in.

Reverse swing

Will this cricket controversy never end? This question of the Aussies tampering with the ball at Newlands (and probably at Kingsmead also and very likely in the series against England as well)?

All kinds of stuff is still flying about the internet. Latest: The Aussies are insisting that the ball be changed from the familiar Kookaburra to the Krookaburra.

This surely has gone far enough. This persecution of our Van Diemensland cousins must cease.

Heh, heh!


A HAMBURGER intentionally topped with a tarantula is attracting customers to a restaurant in Durham, North Carolina, in the US.

Bull City Burger and Brewery is currently celebrating "Exotic Meat Month", according to Huffington Post, by featuring burgers made with everything from alligator to iguana, python, bison, turtle and insects.

But it's the tarantula challenge that has customers going buggy, according to local station WRAL. For $30 (R362) customers get a 100% North Carolina pasture-raised beef burger topped with Gruyère cheese, chili sauce and an oven-roasted tarantula.

And if they finish their plate, they get a T-shirt to immortalise the feat.

I really shouldn't be publicising this. 'Twould be horrid if local eateries were to start offering burgers with oven-roasted cockroaches on top.


A HEALTH specialist is giving a talk in the village hall.

"The best way to start the day is to do five minutes' light exercise and five minutes of deep breathing. Then I always take a short hot shower and feel rosy all over."

Voice from the back of the hall: "Tell us more about Rosie!"


Last word

In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time.

Edward P Tryon


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