‘Brooklyn’ — Lyrics To A Woke Folk-Pop Ballad

I saw a picture of Eve Peyser of Vice Magazine in her new apartment on Twitter and she said she fits perfectly in a “strange small room” perfectly. Her obvious beauty and wit has inspired me yet again and given that I am _assuming_ that the apartment is in Brooklyn, I decided to write a poem-meant-to-be-sung about the picture. Given that I have Trumplandia on the brain, it’s “woke” as well. But this is meant to be a homage to Simon & Garfunkel’s “America.” Or that song “Budapest.” It’s supposed to tell a story about a place. That’s the goal, at least. This is, as always a first draft. Like “America,” there’s no traditional chorus. Your vocalist would have to figure out where the emphasis would be.

Brooklyn
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

she fits in a strange small room
in her new Brooklyn apartment
perfectly
her broad smile belies
the reign of the mad king
the one we all think about and wince
though for a moment she’s at peace

Brooklyn is the center of it all
her new apartment with its strange small room
the one she fits in so well
leaves us all to pause
to dwell on the meaning of it all

the streets of Brooklyn hum
with the busy people brooding on vice and sin
their voices can be heard to Montreal
maybe in French if they have the gaul

Eve with the raven hair
with her lovely countenance
makes Helen green with envy
it all happens in her new apartment
it all happens in her new apartment
it all happens in her new apartment
the one with the strange small room

Cold Civil War: Steve Scalise’s Attack & A Possible Future ‘Reichstag Fire’ Event

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It is very tragic that apparently a “Burnie Brah” was responsible for the senseless attack today on Rep. Steve Scalise and others. It raises a serious, scary issue though. If the Right is so quick to politicize an event like this where fortunately no one was too terribly hurt, imagine the consquences of an actual dramatic, violent and political event in this age of Trumplandia.

In other words, are we careening towards the conditions being right for the Dear Leader, Donald Trump, using a a major “Reichstag Fire” like event to attack civil liberties in a consequential manner? That is kind of deep. There are any number of possible scenarios one could map out.

It seems as though the weakest part of our modern civil society right now is the Internet. It isn’t too much to imagine Trump might seek to significantly regulate the Internet in an additional manner. Maybe a national PIN code to use it? A national “kill switch?”

And that’s just the high tech things Trump might push through should there be a major terrorist attack or another unhinged Bernie Brah does something tragic. We are in unprecedented times and I fear that anything may be on the table now.

What’s more, it seems as though Trump is baiting with all his might something like that happening. It really seems like he wants a major terrorist attack to take place. He certainly is doing everything in his power to make sure it happens. Important security roles remain unstaffed. He uses the power of the presidential bully pulpit to stoke fear and division in the populace.

All of this may be coming to a head.

And remember, we’re not even in the 2018 mid-term election cycle yet. Given that flipping Congress may be the only way to fix this problem, the forces of fear, paranoia and division than make Trump strong will double, triple their efforts to disrupt civil society and free and fair elections.

There’s just nothing we can do right now, it seems. Just nothing. We’re headed towards a dark and dangerous future and really all we have is our personal ability to engage. We really need to stop raging and begin to engage. We need to exercise our rights of free speech and public assembly while we still have them.

We have a madman as president and things are only going to get worse.

It’s all very tragic and I wish I could give you some quick, simple answer to all of this. But I can’t. We’re just going to have to continue to demand that our civil rights aren’t trampled upon. Once the inevitable Reichstag Fire event does happen, the real work of The Resistance will begin.

That’s when we’re all going to find ourselves having to deal with personal decisions we never imagined we’d have to make. We can’t get the EU to help us out of this bind. It will depend upon The Resistance to work towards justice. I might recommend setting up some snail-mail Committees of Correspondence just in case the worse happens.

It’s one way to at least sow the seeds of justice during a dark time.

‘(I Don’t) Recall’ — Lyrics To A Woke Pop Song

As you may know, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said “I don’t recall” and “I don’t remember” a lot during his recent testimony in front of Congress. These lyrics are a reference to that. In my imagination, the music to this would be something akin to Tove Lo’s Habits (Stay High). Her song’s lyrics are much more complex than this, but this is a pretty good beginning.

(I Don’t) Recall
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

you’re rush’n ’round town
asking all we know if I’m some kind of clown
you ask me all kinds of questions
looking for the truth
I look at you in the eye
with a sigh
say repeatedly what can be seen
I don’t mean to be mean
but baby leave me be

I don’t remember
I don’t recall
I don’t remember
I don’t recall

we’re all lying to each other
these days
want me to testify to the truth
when at this point
even I don’t know what’s real
did I cheat
when I went rush’n ’round town
up to you decide
’cause I’m going to invoke
my rights
to protect my delights

I don’t remember
I don’t recall
I don’t remember
I don’t recall

[bridge]
we’re all looking for the facts
we hope the truth will arrive
but I promise you I don’t recall
just don’t know what to say

I don’t remember
I don’t recall
I don’t remember
I don’t recall

Civil Cold War: Steve Scalise’s Alexandria Shooting In The Age Of Trump

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

The more I think about it, the more it seems pretty obvious that what a growing number of people are seeing as a “Civil Cold War” is really more a president’s era is a reflection of his or her personality. Since Donald Trump is a nut job, we have crazy thing happening on a nearly daily basis.

Let me take a moment to note that apparently Shakespeare In The Park has been doing updated Julius Caesar productions with the president of the moment filling in for the traditional depiction of Caesar for something like a decade and only this time around was there a problem. That’s example of what I’m talking about. When the president and his followers think the world is out to get them, they warp the world around them.

So, let’s address the tragic events in Alexandria. It seems as though there is a lot of “fake news” floating about the event. We don’t know for sure if the shooter asked if the participants in the softball match were Democrats or Republicans yet. We just don’t know.

But that hasn’t stopped people from assuming the worst, from freaking out. Then they turn to the dumb thing Kathy Griffin did with the squatty potty or Shakespeare In The Park and say, “Look, look what those damn liberals did.” It makes you wonder where all that rage is coming from, what existential issue is causing people to hate liberals so much. What do they want, for everyone to be forced to watch Keith Urban videos until the End Times?

I guess I think maybe there are two things at work that are feeding off of each other. On one hand, you have long-term issues in the collective American psyche. People are on the Right have gone beyond the surreal in their rage against liberals and the center-Left. That rage is such that it leaves me scratching my head. Meanwhile, the personality of the Dear Leader, Donald Trump, only feeds into this horrible situation and takes American civil society to the breaking point.

The combination of those two things has resulted in the Cold Civil War we are now in. And, sad to say, this Cold Civil War will grind on for as long as Trump is president. The complete civil meltdown in the United States right now between Trumplandia and The Resistance will go on for as long as Trump is president. And given how insanely conservative Mike Pence is, this era could go on much longer, and have much more devastating consquences than any of us ever imagined.

There’s no easy answer. That combination of general trends in our nation’s political history combined with Trump’s personal quirks will haunt us for decades. These are intractable problems. So, the events in Alexandra are tragic and unfortunate and I regret that they happened. But they could be the tip of the ice burg. We could see a smattering of such events here and there for four or eight more years.

I have suggested before that one way to fix these problem would be through technology. Maybe if Silicon Valley took just enough time to stop funding AR and VR to look into fixing the problems associated with Twitter with a new startup that did just that, maybe we could mitigate some of the issues we’re experiencing now. I have gone into great detail about my vision for such a service using Instagram, but I will give you some general thoughts now because it’s relevant.

We need a service that helps give content providers the feeling that they have a vested interest in using the service. So, in that sense, I could see this as an opportunity to disrupt the newspaper business as well as ameliorate some of the titanic issues facing the American Republic right now. Meanwhile, you would make at the core of such a service threaded discussion based on full pages posts. This may sound just like Reddit, but the vision I have is more an update of the old Usenet form of online discussion than anything else.

I propose this because maybe if a social media start up assumed you would write more than just 140 characters, and you did so in the context of a threaded discussion, maybe, just maybe, things would be a little bit better than they are now. A man can hope, right?

But we really need to address the origin of this Cold Civil War we’re in. If we engage each other instead of throwing rhetorical shit at each other, then maybe we can rise above this horrible situation we’re in. But, alas, I fear not until Trumplandia is defeated politically will that happen. Trump is simply too powerful right now and that power grows every time there is something outrageous that happens that divides people. Trump was voted in because he promised change and he’s doing just that.

But not for the better. Not at all for the better.

Shelton Bumgarner is the Editor and Publisher of The Trumplandia Report. He can be reached at migukin (at) gmail.com.

Playboy Should Position Itself As The Anti-Axios

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

I have spoken at length about this before, but I really enjoy this topic, so I will come at it from a slightly different angle. I have written about how I think a startup blog should try to be the Spy Magazine-like Anti-Axios of our day. A neo-Gawker, if you will.

And, yet, I suspect that due to the changing nature of the broader Internet, that’s just not going to happen. No one with the means, motive and opportunity is going to invest in such an idea simply because Twitter exists and the blog universe has become so large and saturated that it would be difficult for such a person to see any immediate ROI. Or something like that.

So I turn my attention, again, to Playboy.

It just makes too much sense for Playboy to throw everything up in the air and completely switch gears. It makes too much sense for it to hire a bunch of Jezebel writers and turn Playboy.com into the biting political site that we’ve all been looking for. I really enjoy what The Atlantic has been producing and Crooked Media does a good job, but it is, to date, a podcasting company. It just doesn’t seem all that interested in doing what I want.

But Playboy not only has an existing audience, it has a name brand that is already associated with liberal progressive causes. And it’s really, really desperate to be relevant again. Doing as I suggest would do just that. It would really get people buzzing again about the brand and I feel the market would be there, as well.

It’s possible, though, that what I want is not something a legacy brand can provide. It could be that only a startup could do it. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for someone to see what I see. Maybe they never will.

Meh.

In This Cold Civil War, The Firing Of Bob Mueller Would Be Fort Sumter

by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

While I think a lot of the talk about the potential firing of Bob Mueller is simply white noise to distract us from the numerous ways that Donald Trump is facilitating some pretty horrible things happening to the Republic, it’s pretty clear that it could happen.

If it did happen, it would take my personal engagement in all of this to the next level. I would go back to the white hot rage that I felt on Nov. 9th. In practical terms, that means I would figure out some way to use what few talents I have to do my part to help The Resistance. I might even actually protest instead of just take pictures of people protesting.

The significance of Trump firing Mueller would be it would be the moment that this Cold Civil War lurched into the battle royale of a full fledged Cold Civil War. It would be the end of the beginning, if you will. I compare it to the firing on Fort Sumter by Confederate Forces. Or maybe The Battle of Britain. It would be the moment when everyone stood up and took notice that the two sides weren’t playing games anymore.

If anything, the fact that we’re talking about this at all is a sign everyone realizes we’ve entered a new, dangerous phase of this chronic, slow moving Constitutional Crisis. We just don’t honestly know one way or another if Trump would fire Mueller and that’s exactly what he wants. He wants to keep us on edge and in an state of uncertainty to such an extent that we can’t land a punch.

But remember, the Vichy Republicans won’t do anything if Trump fires Mueller. And that’s what this is all about. Trump is sounding out the Vichy Republicans to see if they’ll object and….I just don’t know. I just don’t know what will happen.

I have my doubts that Trump will fire Mueller. I really do. I think it’s possible, but unlikely. But we’ll see I guess. In hindsight it might seem obvious that he would and the battle will, at last, be enjoined.

‘Fake News’ — Lyrics To A Woke Country Pop Ballad

This would be a lot like Little Big Town’s Girl Crush. That’s my aim at least. And, to some extent, these lyrics are structured like that song. The music to this would be something really slow. The lyrics are menat to be something that isn’t quite what you expect. This is very much a first draft, so take that into consideration. I only even write this because I like the concept and I find it relaxing to tell stories in verse.

Fake News
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

fake news is all ’round town
fake news is saying you left me for good
don’t believe it for one sec
you been lying under oath to those who matter most

[chorus]
fake news is tearing me apart
shouldn’t be feeling this way but I am
I know the truth
I know you ain’t rush’n to betray me
that’s just fake news
that’s just fake news

these are trying times I admit
seems like there’s no one to trust
lots of people got rhymes that make no sense
wish we could settle down and chat
get everything off our chest

[chorus]
fake news is tearing me apart
shouldn’t be feeling this way but I am
I know the truth
I know you ain’t rush’n to betray me
that’s just fake news
that’s just fake news

[bridge]
pardon me if I ask
for a little respect
wish you’d tell the facts
with no spin at all

but what happens next
is anyone’s guess
can’t believe you’d break your oath
that must be fake news
that must be fake news
that must be fake news

The Continued Absence Of A Spy Magazine-Like Anti-Axios Is Curious

By Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls

It is very curious that we’re this far into the Trumplandia era and someone, somewhere with the means, motive and opportunity hasn’t founded a Gawker or Spy Magazine for this new age. I just don’t get it. It’s really weird.

The Atlantic, strangely enough, is doing a really good job providing people like me with the thought provoking content that I’m looking for during this Cold Civil War. And Crooked Media, too, with its podcasts is doing a good job giving me content that enrages me, if nothing else. It enrages me because I feel like they’re telling us how Trumplandia is successfully destroying America and there doesn’t seem to be much we can do about at this point. New York Magazine’s site also does a good job, but it’s a little bit bland liberalism for me. And The New Yorker and Vanity Fair continue to do yeomanly work.

But these are general sites, general news organization. They’re not devoted to specifically tearing Trumplandia to shreds. That’s what I want as a reader. That’s what I’m interested in right now. The closest thing I have at this point is Twitter, but that’s just because of who I follow.

Meanwhile, Axios is everything a Gawker or Spy Magazine would be against. It’s access journalism that sucks up to Trumplandia in the effort to get a steady flow of scoops. But there’s no opposite. There’s currently no snarky, rough-on-the-edges journalism site that’s popular enough to get the media world buzzing. Vox is meh.

I want a site like Gawker in 2003 or 2004 that you woke up excited to read. I want a site that really tears into Trumplandia in a way that makes people like me cheer. I have suggested that Playboy might be the news organization to do what I want, but I’ve heard crickets. I mean, I’m a nobody. No one listens to me.

Maybe it’s because in the last 10 years or so, the online media world has changed to such an extent that it’s just, in real terms, impossible to start a blog like Gawker. Maybe that’s what is obvious and yet I can’t accept it for some reason. It could be that moment in time has faded and will never return.

Oh well.

Still think Playboy should do it, though. The have the most to gain from doing as I suggest. It would really give them a purpose that the currently lack. They have the name and the resources, they could do something really cool if they came out swinging against Trumplandia on a daily basis.

If such an organization ever did get founded, I would probably bug the crap out of them to write for them in some capacity. They would get a huge amount of buzz and I think the advertisers would come with the associated traffic. It’s just a matter of someone with some vision and resources to actually make what I suggest a reality.

‘Blindsided’ — Lyrics To An Anti-Trump Folk-Pop Song

One of the angriest songs I know of is “Troy” by Sinead O’Conner. I have no beat to go with this, but in my imagination is would be a folk-pop song like Troy. You might give it a pop-rock spin like an OK Computer song. Maybe. Anyway, this really is just a poem meant to be sung. These lyrics are kind of meant to be a response to Ivanka Trump’s statement that she was “blindsided” by the angry reaction to her father’s election. It’s meant to be someone responding to her and thinking back to election night and how that made them feel.

Blindsided
lyric by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

it was fall
the globe was spinning, warming
we all thought we had it figured out
the Mid-West would hold
it would hold tight
we’d be liberated from the foe
freedom would ring
but as the night wore on
things began to turn
we thought we would be blessed
but the light began to dim
our frontal lobe began to pound
it became obvious that our fate was sealed
we were going to be blindsided
we were going to be blindsided
the Mid-West would not hold
Michigan and Wisconsin
Michigan and Wisconsin
how could you
how could you blindside us so
now we’re hurdling towards an unknown fate
we live in shock and awe
of that fall night when
the boom fell
leaving us blindsided
we’re lead by a loon, a buffoon
who lies all the time
his daughter has the gual
the gaul to say
she was blindsided by our fury
when her father brought this on himself
he is not kind
he is not fair
there’s nothing to say I fear
but we must rage on
we’re still reeling
from the night we were blindsided by fate
could it have been hackers
could it have been fools
I don’t know
but the struggle has now just begun
we were blindsided
we were blindsided
we were blindsided

‘Be My Reince Priebus’ — Lyrics To An Anti-Trump Pop-Rock Song

This is just lyrics to a silly little pop song about Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. He has a funny name and seems like something of a suck up so it seems like he would be fun to write about. I have no beat for this, but it would be funny to have a really loud chorus like LCD Soundsystem’s North American Scum. And yes, this makes reference to a well known poem.

Be My Reince Priebus
lyrics by Shelton Bumgarner
@bumgarls
please give credit if you produce or perform

Reince Priebus
born too late
he’s in the thick of it all
he’s the guy with the gaul to suck it all

be my
Reince Priebus
Reince Priebus
Reince Priebus
be my
Reince Priebus
Reince Priebus

Reince Priebus
don’t leave us with the fear
everything we hold dear will be gone
once Trump is done with it all
but to hear you tell it
we’re just going to have it all

Reince Priebus
won’t deceive us
he’s just lance the boil
give us something to roar about
’cause he’s in the thick of it all

be my
Reince Priebus
Reince Priebus
Reince Priebus
be my
Reince Priebus
Reince Priebus

[bridge]
nothing is as it seems
when your bursting at the seams
to tell the world
that your boss is rex
what next, what next

Reince Priebus
let’s just call it a day
the time for lies has ended
the truth needs to be in play

be my
Reince Priebus
Reince Priebus
Reince Priebus
be my
Reince Priebus
Reince Priebus