6 January 2019
The shortest day has bin and gorn, summer is icumen in but the mornings still seem to be getting darker as I empty the dogs. Ultima Thule is no longer Great Britain’s northernmost point, a large chunk of rock just north of the Muckle Flugga in Shetland, but two conjoined lumps of rock in the Kuiper belt and it’s no longer pronounced ‘thule’ but ‘tooler’.
China has landed a rover on the far side of the moon and is successfully receiving pictures through an orbiting satellite, which implies a lot about their military capabilities, but nobody has any idea how Chris Grayling thinks. Or, apparently, doesn’t.
My own week has been enlivened by an exchange with ‘Donald Trump’. I originally emailed Trump saying
“You repeatedly assured the American people that Mexico would pay for the border wall. Why are you now closing down the Government because Congress won’t give you the money so you can pay for the wall?”
Within an hour or so, I got an email that appeared to be a generic response to all queries received. It had a White House heading and ended with a facsimile of Trump’s signature; it accused the Democrats of impeding progress on the wall and causing the government shut-down so I naturally wrote again:
“Thank you for replying so quickly with what appears to be a standard form of answer (containing two spelling mistakes) to a completely different question. I would be most grateful if you could now answer the question I asked.”
Within a few hours, I got an email that appeared to be … (you can guess the rest) so I wrote again:
“Let me try again to see if, third time lucky, I can actually get an answer to the question I asked. Since I’m curious, I’ll also expand it to make it easier to understand.
- You repeatedly assured the American people that Mexico would pay for a border wall
- It seems you’ve been unable to negotiate a deal with Mexico that means they will pay for your wall
- You now want America to pay for this
- Congress are reluctant to do this so you’ve closed down the American people’s government in an attempt to force Congress to agree to do this
- Why? Is it because you can’t afford to pay for your wall from your own personal fortune or because you want the American people to bail you out of a promise you made to them that you now find you can’t honour?
“I look forward to receiving a definitive answer.”
A few hours later, I received … guess … so I left it a couple of days and tried a different tack:
“Thank you for your replies to my earlier emails. I’ve only just understood the purpose of your replies and am writing to offer you my congratulations.
“I’ve been told that you said some time ago, possibly in the 1990s, that you were not inherently political but that you tended towards the democrats. This suddenly makes it clear that your failure to explain why you’re not honouring your promise to the American people that Mexico would pay for the wall, and your obfuscations, terminological inexactitudes, defensiveness, your apparent lack of accurate information on other subjects and now the threat to keep the Government closed down sine die are part of a campaign to discredit the Republican party from inside and I must apologise to you for not having appreciated this earlier.
“Keep up the good work on getting sufficient funding from Congress for your Mexican border wall Mr President – more power to your arm.”
Guess what I received. Wrong! It was still under a White House heading but it was from some poor sod in “The Office of Presidential Correspondence” saying they were “carefully reviewing” my message and the President appreciates my “taking the time to reach out”.
Not waving but drowning.
I copied my exchange to some friends in America who sent a link to an interview with Professor Bandy X. Lee MD MDiv analysing Trump’s pathology. According to Yale School of Medicine, Prof Lee is “an internationally recognized expert on violence. Trained in medicine and psychiatry at Yale and Harvard Universities, and in medical anthropology as a fellow of the National Institute of Mental Health, she is currently on the faculty of Yale School of Medicine’s Law and Psychiatry Division.”
Those of a nervous disposition should stop reading here and have a cup of tea; stronger readers can read the interview at https://www.alternet.org/2019/01/yale-psychiatrist-explains-trumps-pathology-and-why-hes-now-more-dangerous-than-ever/ but keep the Valium close by.