03 July 2019

[Ellis Millsaps] - The View From Porterdale: Let It Bleed III; EXTRA! Ch II: Jungleland

  More Fake News From the Dangerous Liberal

*ed note: Da originally tendered this piece over a month ago but I've been busy posting his pieces of "Son of a Preacher Man" & "The Porch." Da has his finger on the political pulse of things on his side of the aisle quite nicely, I believe. Be sure to check out the added Pt. II (The BOSS rules!!!). Thx for reading - MBM

Sometime  before the midterms I said in this space-- oh hell, I predicted-- that  democrats would sweep to control of the house and Trump would be impeached because there would be enough honorable republicans who would place country above party to remove this threat to the republic.  Things have gone up and down since then. Trump managed to get a shameless lackey appointed attorney general. Democrats have presented a remarkable array of presidential contenders. Lindsey Graham, without John McCain to hold his feet to the fire, has sold his soul  to Satan.

Impeachment was looking really iffy until Robert Mueller told congress to do its job. Impeachment looks likely now. Will these congressional inquiries change the view of Americans the way the Watergate hearings did? Will Republican senators decide to do the right thing, or at least realize that fighting off a primary challenge won't let them keep their job if they stick with Trump? II's a really interesting time to be alive for a lifelong politics junkie. 

I've also said that Trump has already beaten the only Democrat he could beat. Trump's base-- mostly xenophobic older white people-- may hold at around 40%, but he would not have been elected without the 21st century Know Nothings. These are people who don't really follow politics. This is the small but decisive fragment who voted for Obama then voted for Trump. They're not voting about abortion, appointment of judges or fear of Spanish speakers. Trump made them a series of promises he didn't even try to keep. They will vote for anyone who isn't Trump this time.. 

 I'm excited by the Democratic field of presidential candidates. I think that anytime the president coins a new derogatory nickname for any of them they should respond “I hear Cry Baby Trump has a new name for me.” It would drive him crazy.(er)

 I'm very impressed by Pete Buttigeig and I think he will be president, but probably not this time. The debates will tell us more, but as of today my dream ticket is Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris. Whomever we nominate, look at this field of candidates from which the cabinet will be chosen. People who know what they're doing, a cabinet that will rival JFK's.

Da's Dream Ticket

Finally I'm amused by all the denigration of socialism. All western democracies (and I include here Japan, Australia and New Zealand) are to a greater or lesser extent socialist, Every informed and honest observer knows this. Business Insider named the top twenty countries for standard of living/ quality of life. The United States ranked 19th. All of the countries above us had many more socialist governmental programs than we. What's more, Trump’s base loves its socialism. Social Security ( it's right there in the name), and Medicare are pure socialist programs as well as veterans benefits and school lunch vouchers-. All of the candidates are capitalist-- we love our capitalism-- but most want it tempered by socialist policies for the public good.


II: Jungleland

Although the credo for my life comes from Springsteen’s “Racing In The  Street”( “Now some guys they just give up living/ And start dying little by little’ piece by piece/ Some guys come home from work and wash up/ And go racing in the street”), I live in Jungleland.

 I’ve spent maybe three days in New York City, zero in New Jersey, but I've spent many days with the E Street Band doing that crazy shuffle. Jungleland is a world where” Kids flash guitars just like switchblades/ Hustling for the record machine” where”There's an opera out on the turnpike/ There's a ballet being fought out in the alley.” The song contains for me what is one of the most striking images in Anglo- American poetry “Barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain.” It's right up there with Coleridge’s “woman wailing for her demon lover.””

When my children were small I told them Jungleland was a Christmas song. They soon wised up to that, but listen to that Roy Brittan piano opening.  Can't you see snow falling and Santa landing on rooftops. “From the churches to the jails/ Tonight all the silence in the world.” And if the Clarence Clemons sax solo, especially on the live in New York City 2001 version, doesn't rip your soul out then I suspect you don't have one.( Fuck tolerance. I can be severely judgmental when it hits close to home, and as I've said Jungleland is home.)

If you’ve stuck with me this long you now get the real thing.

Boss & CC - Double Dose of BadAss!

Ellis is an attorney by trade but has worn many hats over the years: father, bus boy, stand-up comedian, novelist, wiffle ball player, rock'n'roll band manager, and at one time wrote a popular and funny column for The Covington News. A Fannin Co. mountain boy originally, Mr. Millsaps now stays at the mill village of Porterdale by way of 20 years in Mansfield. Usually funny and at times irreverent and subversive, he leans left in his political philosophy but can always be counted on for a damn good write-up. The Chronicles are proud to have him involved...