Monday, August 1, 2022

Ghost in the Graveyard

In the most “in-character” thing he could do, TFG had his first ex-wife buried on his New Jersey golf course. At first blush, you’d think, “OK, makes sense, I guess.” But then we hear that this burial now qualifies his golf course as a “cemetery” and is thus exempt from property, inheritance, income, and sales taxes.

Isn’t that the most Trumpian thing you’ve ever heard of? And of course hers is a sparse gravesite, with nothing but a simple plaque on the ground, bearing her name, and birth/death dates.

How long before he puts up a tee box on this site? Or an ATM?

I would bet that when he goes to plan his own gravesite, it will resemble a shoddily built Taj Mahal. Granted, that’s only if he can figure out a way to get someone else to pay for it. But looking at how he used Ivana’s death announcement to fundraise, I don’t suppose it will be that hard.

One might think that her offspring would have had some objections to such a muted display. I mean, I’m sure Ivanka could have dropped some of her recently made fortune for a more impressive memorial site. But is it really a surprise that they didn’t? I’m sure they’re just stoked about ducking the estate taxes on the land when their old man finally kicks.

I think the state of New Jersey should revisit its laws on the subject and establish that there be a minimum number of graves on site before bestowing such tax avoidance largesse. I’m sure this wasn’t what they had in mind when the law was written. I mean, hell, everyone could try doing this… just bury Grandma in the backyard and live tax-free for as long as they have the property. They should close this big loophole before it catches on.

I like what fellow blogger Vixen Strangely suggested in the comments of her recent post, in which she hopes Ivanka turns poltergeist.

I think a good haunting is exactly what that place needs and I know just how it should be done. The ghost of Ivana should haunt her ex-husband’s golf game. She could use her powers to push all his drives out of bounds and into the woods and all his putts run short. TFG takes so much pride in his golf game, she’ll ruin it for him for the rest of his life.

Or she can just make his balls disappear. You can take that any way you’d like.

Fascist Q and A

Did you see who’s speaking at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) this week? Hungarian authoritarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, that’s who. In a speech last weekend, he said he “wanted to prevent Hungary from becoming a ‘mixed-race’ country and that countries with racial mixing are no longer countries.

How very Republican of him. Do you think they’re having him there to debate his views on race relations? Or to pick up some tips?

You know it’s the latter. He’s even given them a 12-Step plan on how to attach liberal democracy.

Republicans aren’t even hiding their intentions anymore. They’re just coming out in the open and trying to erase our democracy, right under our noses.

I don’t care how aggressive some Democrats get with getting hyper-woke and bending our language in knots, it’s not nearly as bad as depriving people of equal rights under the law. When Republican apologists among us try to alibi out of this, saying, “I don’t think they’re going to overturn rights to mixed marriage or ban contraception,” I immediately remember all the people having that same conversation about Roe, and we know what happened there. Yes, they will. They’re saying they will, they’re finding out how to do it, they’ve installed a Supreme Court who will bless it, and they will do it at the first opportunity. Why else would they invite a public paragon of racial purity to speak to their convention?  And why else would he go, if he didn’t know he’d be preaching to the choir?

In these upcoming mid-terms, we need to be very cognizant of what is truly important and what is the sideshow. This shit right here is important.

Don’t Get Comfortable

As I mentioned last week, Democrats in Congress are trying to pass bills to safeguard same-sex marriage, abortion, and contraception. I hope they do, if for nothing but to make it obvious who is for what. BUT, in no way should we think it would the fight be over at that point.

If any such law passes, conservatives will begin challenging the law in court before the ink is dry. It will eventually end up at the Supreme Court and I guarantee they will find a way to nullify it. No matter how carefully the bill is crafted, (and I seriously hope they’re making this thing legally fireproof), they will come up with some kind of rationale, however shaky, to kibosh the whole thing. They’re already pretending that a couple of amendments don’t exist to justify overturning Roe.

I mean, that’s why they’re there; exercise the GOP’s will. The Constitution? The Will of the People? They don’t care. If they weren’t willing to rule this way, they wouldn’t have been on the Federalist Society’s list, to begin with. Their votes are already locked and loaded.

A View from the Crowd

I haven’t been out in a crowd for a while but when I do go, some things never change.

Last week Sweetpea and I went to see ZZ Top in downtown Baltimore and decided to have a mini stay-cation, by staying overnight at the Marriott Waterfront, which is right beside the concert venue.

The big, white, tented area is the venue, as shot from our room at the Marriott.

And hey look… Marriott is in favor of keeping abortion legal. This was on the wallpaper near the ceiling…

…Although I could be misinterpreting.

Now, I have seen a LOT of concerts in my day, 108 to be exact, and I always seem to have the same problem. There’s always some jackass standing right in front of me.

Now, I don’t mean when everyone else is standing, that’s normal. I mean when there’s no one else in the area standing up, but there they are, directly between me and the object of my attention.

I call this out in the Book of Bluz, particularly Bluz 3:24, “Whether it's at a ballgame, a concert, or whatnot, if you're the only one standing up, you're an asshole.  A complete, self-centered, self-absorbed, inconsiderate, flaming asshole.  Everyone else who bought a ticket didn't pay to see your back all night.”

The last time I was here was to see Boston in 2014. And there she was, one lone figure planted between me and the stage.

This night, our seats were pretty good, in the middle of the pavilion, behind the soundboard, with about 4 empty rows in between. (Why these rows were empty, I have no idea. They weren’t available for purchase when I was ticket shopping, that’s for sure. So I thought we’d be golden.

But then there was this guy, part of the event staff, who spent about half the show standing behind the people working the soundboard. He wasn’t acting as Security, working the board, he wasn’t doing anything but standing there watching the show. Right in front of me.

Occasionally he would be joined by a security person, who when she wasn’t making people who stood behind the sound area move along, stood right there beside him.

Most of the time I was able to look around the blockade, but it was irritating, especially since they were staff. They should know better than to block the view of paying customers.

The show itself was fine, albeit short. They started their encore songs after an hour and the show was over in 78 minutes. I don’t expect every show to run as long as a Springsteen show, but Bruce’s first set used to run longer than this. With a band that’s been around since 1969 and a huge catalog, they could have played another hour easily, and the crowd would have still known every song.

But while they were playing, it was fine. The bass player filling in for the late Dusty Hill was OK, but he just didn’t seem to have that same synch with guitarist Billy Gibbons that his predecessor did. They used to move together like they were tied to the same string.

It just seemed like they were going through the motions. It was the 5th time I’ve seen them, but the last time was 28 years ago. I guess we all slow down.

I was hoping to produce a couple of decent pictures but alas, when I read the fine print of the venue rules, they allow small cameras, but none with a lens that extends over an inch. Mine does, when it’s zoomed. While I considered bringing it in anyway, there was a risk. I didn’t really care to bring it back to the room, and I certainly didn’t want it confiscated. So that left my cellphone camera, which in the iPhone 8, just isn’t as good as the ones in the newer models. This was the best of the bunch:

By comparison, this is a shot I took of Boston’s guitarist and founder/genius Tom Scholtz, with my regular camera in the same venue:

I don’t know if they had this camera ban in 2014… maybe I just missed it and got lucky.

But anyway, it was a nice night out and something we haven’t been able to do in several years.

Maybe we’ll catch them again in another 28 years.


Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

I love the haunting idea for ole Ex Mrs Trump #1.
Being 5'1" even if I do stand up I don't normally bother a soul but I will never ever do it just because it is not concert etiquette people!
I've gone to see my favs as they've aged and now won't do it. I was so disappointed one time I felt it was best to remember them when they could rock and roll and not in a chair.

and thanks I lost my coffee on that abortion wallpaper. :-)

bluzdude said...

Sweetpea is the same size as you, so she doesn't have that problem either.
But I'm 6'3", so I'm hyper-aware of how hard it is to see around me. I never stand if I can see at all while sitting down. Plus, I'm not in my 20s anymore. Standing for any length of time kills my back and knees.

ZZ Top was never a band that ran all over the stage, but they always had some pretty good stage stunts going on, as well as some well-practiced moves they'd do in unison. There were no stage stunts, just some occasional synchronized swaying.

They still play at a top level, but one thing always bothers me. They never play the extended guitar solo at the end of "Pearl Necklace." It's probably my favorite thing they do as far a pure guitaristry. It's just a groaning, howling, slashing, furious bit of guitar-slinging and they just end the song without playing it. It's like playing Freebird without the finale!

Bohemian said...

Why am I not surprised of the late-ex being a Tax Write-Off and Exemptions for her Ex after Death. He probably had her pushed down the Stairs... at least that's my conspiracy theory of what could have caused her timely demise? I hear he hasn't paid Taxes for 15 plus Years anyway, so it's just an Inheritance Tax duck I suppose? Mebbe he'll charge Admission to visit the Gravesite? He's always got an Angle for the Publicity/Show/Grandstanding and to make a Buck, what a Pauper looking Gravesite.

KE Rd said...

I was very surprised to find out that ZZ was playing gigs without Dusty. They've been together for so long, I figured it would end if one of the 3 original members were unable to continue. Sort of like how Rush handled their situation. (Losing both Neil Peart AND Eddie Van Halen within months of each other was the first real gut punch to those important, formative years spent developing your own personal musical tastes. Losing SRV so tragically young in '91 was MY first experience with that.)
Was ZZ Top ready to head out the door on some massive world tour when Dusty died? If you know something, spill it!

I'm fairly new to your site. Enjoying it so far! Keep up the good fight!

bluzdude said...

Thanks for commenting, KE, it's good to have you stop by.

I believe ZZ did have a tour already lined up, although I don't know how long it was supposed to last. The new bassist was their old guitar tech, who had been with them for twenty-some years. I figured he knew all the songs and the 'moves' as well. But they used them very sparingly.

ZZ used to have a much bigger show. Each time I saw them before, they had extensive stage presentations and effects. One the Eliminator tour, it was like they were planing on the dashboard of the ZZ Top car, complete with giant hanging ZZ keychain. The next tour they did the same thing, but then halfway through, it changed into the ZZ spaceship. The next stage was set up like a junkyard, complete with a giant, swinging magnet, that picked up a big pile of junk and dropped in on top of the shack the band had just ducked into and smashed it. They also used to use a moving sidewalk, so they'd suddenly turn and start walking to side-stage but they weren't going anywhere. This show seemed like it was slapped together for a tour of state fairs or something... Except the tix ran about $130 a pop.

Lastly, I agree about SRV, who died 32 years ago yesterday. That was a dark day for me and I remember it clearly. It hurts to think about all the awesome music that never came to be. No question that he'd still be out there playing, today.