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Staying Sane in This Dark Night of the American Soul

It is no secret around here that I think John Oliver is the most brilliant of the bumper crop of smart, left-wing comedians we have now who help keep non-Trumpers a bit sane during this dark night of the American soul we are living through.

In keeping with that state of mind, I am taking a mental health break today and instead of a regular blog post that would require actual thought, I have for you Oliver's video essay broadcast last Sunday night on his HBO program, Last Week Tonight.

In it, he takes on Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner – something I've been itching to do but knowing I cannot possibly match Oliver's intelligence, wit and talent, I have not made the attempt. So thank god he has now done it for all of us and I don't have to.

Oliver is good every week but this one surpasses anything he has done so far this season. There are so many great, true and fall-down funny moments that to choose among them is impossible. But I do like this giggle a lot, referring to Ivanka: “The apple doesn't fall far from the orange.”

And by the way – here's a question for you: How come there are no right-wing comedians as funny as the ones who lean left?

Anyway, here is John Oliver from last Sunday. Enjoy, and I'll see you back here on Friday.


The bottom line is that we really don't know very much about these people except that neither of them have any experience in government, politics or international diplomacy. And unknown quantities are the most frightening of all.

One of his absolute best. And that's saying something. These two are . . . words fail.

I reblogged is fabulous and needs to be enjoyed and thought about by everyone who is concerned about the direction our country is going.

And when things go all to hell, it will be blamed on an inside White House Jewish conspiracy.

Alas, Ronni... we in Canada can no longer access these John Oliver clips. At least I can't and I noticed one other reader commented on the same problem a couple of weeks ago.

We can however access stories about them in The Guardian and elsewhere. So we get tantalizing little tidbits like this hilarious description of Steve Bannon, which is so perfect, I want to frame it and hang it on my wall:

“a man best described as every dark thought humanity has ever had, inhabiting the long dead corpse of a Civil War-era plantation owner, that even his fellow plantation owners called ‘a bit much.’"

Katie, I find John Oliver wherever I can—last night he was on Jimmy Fallon's show, and he turns up as a frequent guest on others. You can also search YouTube for him, although those are not as topical.

The only good thing to come out of this "deplorable" administration is the fodder provided for comedians. Oliver is #1,, but Seth Meyers is very good also.

Whatever works to get everyone involved through concern for the country and beyond will be through clear-headed spokesmen such as Oliver.

At first my reaction was - yesss, he's filled most spots so that he's surrounded with people he's able to 'trust' - family, friends, supporters, corporate interests that are in his interests - regardless of their abilities and value.

But today also brought news that he's going after the environment, via the monuments order(?) he's signing, and the tax restructuring. In CA, we continue to see the pressures of WallSt. to open up the coastline and Yosemite to private holdings, and this might happen now. It's a devastating change, well, let's say for the average citizen.

He's overloading on purpose. While he may not care about the 100-day judgement, he needs the Russia-thingy to be gone already, at all costs, and with any distraction he can dream up. This desperation of his could lead to vulnerability for him as well. He's not an intellect, so many of his moves come from others, of his choosing naturally. I think he's putting himself and this country in a very dangerous place, paling any previous administration by a landslide.

Pretty sure we're in for a rocky ride this year through 2020. You know when the head honcho can't distinguish truth nor understand government administration requirements; the vice pres. thinks his fierce glare puts fear into the N.Koreans but can't sit down for a meal with a woman outside of his family; and the next 2 in line are liars and manipulators - we haven't seen trouble yet.

Were we all asleep at the wheel the last 8 years, while Kochs and big money
Republicans gerrymandered/denied wide groups of people the right to vote their way to this last election via various means? Find out what's going on with your local, county and state governments as part of resisting. The Kochs have pledged an enormous amount of money for the 2018 election - on the state and lower levels. This was from an interview I watched 2 weeks ago of 1 Koch bro.

Sorry for the length of this -

All the Trump family, except Melania and Barron, talk a lot but actually say nothing of any value. A lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing. At lease the wife and youngest son say nothing -- which is probably what's going through their minds as they try to keep out reach from any microphones.

Please make that last comment "try to keep out of reach from any microphones."

Ivanka and Jared come across to me like stepford children. I liked what John Oliver said about not trusting them because from what we hear and see, we really don't have any idea who they truly are and what they believe. They both are too coy which leaves me to believe they cannot be trusted.

What's most disturbing is that the purported mediating effect on TRump by Ivanka and Jared is a belief held by far too many respected members of the polity and the media. I find it almost impossible to believe that the MSM could take seriously the ability of these two almost lifelike mannequins to run the country, but that's exactly what's going on.

If anything could be as bad or worse than the TRump Presidency it would be the de facto reign of these two perfectly designed robots. How can the media continue to take them seriously when they watch Ivanka's perfectly engineered lips in action as they utter scripted banalities---the face apparently has not been designed to move. Of course as Oliver tells us there is not a good demo of Jared's ability to move or speak in a lifelike way because there doesn't seem to be any footage of him actually performing despite his having been put in charge of everything in the world from China to opioids.

This is effing scary, and my response to the very appropriate title of this post about staying sane in this frightening new world is HOW?

why are there no right wing comedians as funny as those on the left? this in and of itself is funny. there are no funny right wingers, period; no need to compare them to the left. this is due in large part to a complete inability to see anything ridiculous in their own behavior. spite, mean spiritedness, and malice are not the ingredients for humor, unless you restrict yourself to vicious humor, which is certainly not funny. everyone laughs when the man slips on the banana peel and falls in the mud; the right winger keeps laughing when the man breaks his leg. remember the half-hour news hour on fox? the lamest straw man jokes and lots of mocking of short-comings of others less powerful.

You introduced me to John Oliver quite a while ago and I am addicted -- this is one of his very best --not just saying things I think much more cleverly than I ever could but in this case, pointing out the utter blandness I've missed. It's like having Barbie and Ken to pose and play with while Donald amasses all the other toys for himself.

Meanwhile the latest tax plan is so blatantly beyond the realm of reality I cannot believe even Trump would publicly announce his greed and utter disregard for the 99%. As well a muttering about getting rid of the 9th circuit court because they cite the Constitution (which he has never read) as a reason to deny his meanness toward refugees. Whatever Oliver comes up with next will be appreciated.

Comments here that we know little about who Ivanka and Jared really are absolutely correct. The SNL skit in which Jimmy Fallon represented Jared, with never saying a word, actually spoke volumes. And a young mother who has the resources available to her that Ivanka has, and who seems to have made her life's work the production and promotion of ridiculously expensive dresses and jewelry says a lot about her. We are, as they used to say, "in deep doo-doo."

Greetings Ronni

I hope comments on Staying Sane on This Dark Night of the American Soul are still welcome.
Personally, I have never in my long life felt so battered and alarmed for the future of our world and it is difficult to remain involved and (for me personally) measured in my responses to the folly du jour.......more like the folly of the nanosecond!

I think it is important to email and/or call our legislators ..perhaps daily, stay in touch with friends, exercise regularly and take regular breaks from cable news. I am interested in what others are doing to move on through this storm.

Thank you for being a lighthouse in this dark night.


In fairness to you, these guys have stacks of writers. Oliver is great, but everyone on TV, and the segments are produced.

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