The eternally uncool G.E. Smith is leading the house band at the Republican National Convention. I’ve never been able to stand this guy and his support of Trump has doubled his loathsome quotient. Kids, being in a band doesn’t automatically make you cool. G.E. Smith is to rock and roll what Pia Zadora is to acting.
No matter who Smith played with, whether it was Dylan or Bowie, he always tried to upstage the artist he was supposed to be supporting. With his rigor mortis grin and guitar-slinger grimaces, Smith is one of the most inauthentic musicians on the fucking planet. Nothing notable about his style at all. A hired gun who can play some fills and solos while the front man grabs a fresh beer or a bottle of water from the drum stand.
Remember Smith’s insufferable mugging on SNL? Buffoon rock.
In the video below, watch Trump’s house band desecrate David Bowie’s “Station To Station.” Smith’s prior work with Bowie notwithstanding, would Smith and his band of whores have dared to do this if Bowie were still alive? And what did all those old, white conventioneers think of lyrics like:
It’s not the side-effects of the cocaine
I’m thinking that it must be love
It’s too late to be grateful
I’ve always had big ideals regarding rock and roll. You know, that it stood for something. That it was music of rebellion and hope. That rock and roll could change the world. And for awhile it did. The Beatles being the main force of raising consciousness. But I’ve been consistently disappointed over the years by bands selling out and selling out to Trump is particularly egregious in my opinion. Things have gone from “I sold my soul for rock and roll” to “I sold my rock and roll and my soul.”
Trump emulating King Kong on Cleveland’s landmark, Terminal Tower
I moved to Cleveland three years ago, and as a Cleveland resident, I think of the impending Republican National Convention, which hits the city next week, with a substantial amount of dread and foreboding. Cleveland has been gearing up for this event for many, many months, and the news that Donald Trump’s odious political platform has given a great many prominent Republicans cause to spend the week elsewhere is a bit of a bummer for the city’s powers that be.
Of course, Cleveland is a solidly Democratic city, and so it’s going to be bizarre to have Trump and his cohorts here all week. It’s hard not to entertain visions of liberal protesters being beaten down by riot police or violence-prone Trump supporters. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that liberal activists will see that the better part of valor is to let Trump hang himself on his own idiocy and not play to his supporters’ worst instincts, but I do understand the impulse to register dissent on the ghastly policies Trump would impose.
The bulk of the week’s activity kicks off on Sunday night, for a massive opening night party at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center on Sunday, and will conclude with Trump’s speech on Thursday night—hopefully with a minimum of damage to human tissue and inanimate property. I’ve heard countless friends tell me that they’re going to “stay away from downtown” all week, and I certainly intend to follow suit.
I really didn’t want to like this. I’m 100% in line with the consensus that the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes is a transcendent and perfect work of art that will resonate for as long as there are imaginative children and adults who wish to reactivate that magic. Detourning, parodying, or otherwise fucking with it is done at one’s peril. So that being said, it’s pretty astonishing that this worked: An imgur user and obvious MST3K fan going by the name DrForester has shared a baker’s dozen Calvin and Hobbes strips wherein Calvin’s face is replaced with Donald Trump’s.
The effect is spot-on. Strips selected typically show Calvin at his most toxically self-centered, making them perfect fodder for the bottomlessly loudmouthed and narcissistic GOP presidential candidate, though the strips have a more sophisticated vocabulary than your typical Trump stump. I checked a few random selections from the detourned strips against the originals, and in the ones I was able to find readily for comparison, the original strips’ dialogue bubbles are entirely untouched. Compare the lead image at the top of this post to the original:
DrForester doesn’t seem to be the strips’ creator, but rather an aggregator—there’s a Reddit thread full of these that dates back to last winter, and the oldest I found—the one above—was uploaded by a user named eucalyptusfire. A lot of them are simply uncanny in their reflection of Trump’s ethos.
Australian comedian Jim Jefferies went viral with his impassioned—and hilariously funny—rant about gun control “Guns Are Not Protection” from his 2014 Netflix standup special Bare. The clip’s been viewed millions of times and sadly racks up millions more with every new gun massacre in America.
Well, Jefferies is about to go viral again with this nailed-it-to-the-fucking-wall breakdown of how Donald Trump plans to fight terrorism by profiling Muslims.
The whole thing is fantastic, and you’ll want to watch it all, but the part that I’m talking about specifically starts at the 4:30 mark. After listening to what he says here, how in the world could anyone with even a spoonful of brains think Donald Trump could possibly keep Americans safe from terrorism? Jefferies demolishes that argument. Pulverizes it. Stomps on it. It’s finished. It’s done.
No one who hears this can possibly unhear what he’s saying here. I don’t care how pro-Trump—or stupid—they might be.
No wonder all the ISIL related websites evince such a decidedly pro-Trump slant! Trump’s doing Allah’s work for him, if you know what I mean (and you surely will after watching Jim Jefferies lay it out so cold here!) Jim Jefferies’ newest streaming Netflix standup special Freedumb is now available.
Today in Scotland a street campaign was launched warning the public of a highly toxic and dangerous man who is currently visiting the country. The public are advised not to approach this man under any circumstance or listen to any of the shite that spouts out of his mouth. The man is wanted for inciting racial hatred and very bad hair.
In other news, Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump has arrived in Scotland.
A few months ago we learned that Woody Guthrie once wrote a righteously angry protest song about Donald Trump’s slumlord dad, an occurrence that could only be topped by, say, a righteously angry comic strip penned by R. Crumb about his son, the ultra-wealthy asshole currently running for President of these United States of America.
Such a thing actually fucking exists!
In 1991 Crumb left America for France, but before he did so he put out “Point the Finger,” a comic about a certain over-publicized real estate mogul that appeared in his short run of Hup comics (Issue #3). In the five-page strip, “Crumb” (the character) has a run-in with Trump, whom he calls “one of the more visible big time predators who feed on society” and “one of the most evil men alive.” He also says, “Hey Don—Ugh! You’re so hateful I can’t even look at you!”
He enlists his chums Tracy and Marny to introduce Trump’s face to the inside of a toilet bowl. And then the three of them (not Trump—ew) have sex.
You can read the entire strip here, but be warned—it’s most definitely NSFW.
Michael Galinsky has documented many moments of political tension, from Klan rallies to Occupy Wall Street. Tagging along with a friend who worked for Reuters, Galinsky showed up at the Donald Trump rally in Greensboro, NC on Tuesday. He applied for press credentials as they were driving to the venue, although his plans from the beginning were to shoot something more akin to Jeff Krulik and John Heyn’s “Heavy Metal Parking Lot,” the legendary underground film made in the parking lot of a 1986 Judas Priest concert.
But whereas “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” is bust-a-gut hilarious stuff, Galinsky’s quietly observational footage of the Trump rally will probably just make you sad. He writes:
I had applied too late which was fine, but I still tried to talk my way in because there wasn’t much happening outside. When that didn’t work I sat down in the shade to figure out a plan of action. After about a minute of watching people trickle towards the venue, I heard a man yelling, “White Power!” I grabbed my camera and approached. He was wearing a big cowboy hat and a Willie Nelson shirt with Willie giving us “the finger.” Still, I wasn’t sure if he was being ironic until a minute later when the cops approached. They explained that we as citizens do have “free speech,” but that his incendiary language was dangerous and therefore prohibited. It was kind of a surreal conversation (see the video), and as I listened, it dawned on me that I wasn’t going to be allowed there much longer either. I was right. After they gave him and his friend the heave-ho, I was told I had five minutes to leave. I tried once again to get in with credentials, then I headed for the parking lot.
I often enter these situations with a vague idea of what I plan to shoot but try to remain open to what comes. I ran into a guy selling shirts and talked to him for a bit. They were vulgar, anti-Hilary shirts and people heading into the event loved them. I started to think about the people who sold things at the event and followed this up with another guy selling shirts. A few moments later, I saw a group of people who were representing the Militia Movement. I talked to them for a bit, and then a roving protest showed up. It was a loud mass surrounded by police. Having spent time with the militia guys, I observed the protest from their perspective for a while.
This event was taking place just days after the horrific events in Orlando, and this was largely an LGBTQ-led protest. After having filmed at dozens of protests, I get a little spooked around cops. These guys were generally working with kid gloves, but I still felt a bit unsure about going to shoot with the protesters as they were surrounded by masses of cops. I’m a “non-credentialed” journalist, and as such, I’m more at risk in these situations, so I try to be very cautious. The protesters set up shop across the street, and I made my way across the street to shoot a couple of people being interviewed by a local news channel. I like to shoot media doing interviews because it gives a context to the situation and how that situation is being portrayed.
And now without future explanation, because of course, none is really necessary, witness the pathetic gene pool who support Biff Tannen sorry, er President Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho whoops, I mean Donald Trump as they cavort and gather and hoot and holler in “Trump Parking Lot.”
I’m at loss for words here. You just have to click “play” and watch it to see what I mean. Clearly it’s a parody of a Japanese-style “commercial” having a laugh at the Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. What’s scary is, I’m 99% certain, if Donald Trump were to have actually made a Japanese campaign commercial, you know it would be something just like this. It’s not too far of a stretch.
Anyway, the “commercial” is by a musician named Mike Diva and it’s batshit. Just like Donald Trump.
Active since 1978, Vancouver’s punk stalwarts D.O.A. are still as pissed off as ever. The group, led by Joey “Shithead” Keithley, remain quite active both musically and politically and are set to release a new single, an ode to one Donald J Trump, titled “Fucked Up Donald.”
The song is a reworking of their 1981 indictment of Ronald Reagan, “Fucked Up Ronnie,” which appeared on their Positively EP and on the Bloodied But Unbowed singles compilation album. Even THAT song was a re-working of a song called “Fucked Up Baby” that Keithly wrote in 1977 for his earlier band The Skulls. The original “Fucked Up Ronnie” is one of D.O.A.‘s most classic songs and this new updated version is just as ripping as the original—like so much so that it actually took me aback a bit.
The 85 second hardcore admonition takes the Donald to task for his anti-Mexican and anti-woman stances as well as his disastrous ideas on foreign policy, and is just an all-around killer slab of meaty punk.
According to the band, they “slammed this frantic piece of ‘Let’s fight this bullshit!’ down in 15 minutes flat” with producer Cecil English (No Means No, D.O.A., Jello Biafra, The Smalls). Cut the shit and start the pit, eh?
The B-side of the single is slated to be D.O.A.‘s cover of Barry McGuire’s immortal and still quite timely, “Eve of Destruction.”
Check out this Dangerous Minds exclusive premier of “Fucked Up Donald”:
And after the jump, for old-time’s-sake, the original, “Fucked Up Ronnie”...
I’ve called our readers’ attention to the work of comedy genius Vic Berger a couple times before here on DM, and here I am doing it again for his mega-incredible “Batman v Trump: Official Trailer.”
In this his newest masterpiece, Berger takes his political pop culture détourné art form to another level. He’s the culture jammer extraordinaire of YouTube. SNL, The Daily Show, Jimmy Kimmel… Hollywood needs to hire this man now. One of the best, most-effective anti-Trump propaganda memes yet, and obviously there have been tons of them.
A new Change.org petition is currently circulating demanding that the Quicken Loans arena, site of the 2016 RNC, allow the open carry of firearms. The convention will be held in Ohio, which is an “open-carry” state, but the venue itself strictly forbids the carry of firearms on premises.
According to the petition, the gun ban is a “direct affront to the Second Amendment and puts all attendees at risk”:
As the National Rifle Association has made clear, “gun-free zones” such as the Quicken Loans Arena are “the worst and most dangerous of all lies.” The NRA, our leading defender of gun rights, has also correctly pointed out that “gun free zones… tell every insane killer in America… (the) safest place to inflict maximum mayhem with minimum risk.”
Cleveland, Ohio is consistently ranked as one of the top ten most dangerous cities in America. By forcing attendees to leave their firearms at home, the RNC and Quicken Loans Arena are putting tens of thousands of people at risk both inside and outside of the convention site.
This doesn’t even begin to factor in the possibility of an ISIS terrorist attack on the arena during the convention. Without the right to protect themselves, those at the Quicken Loans Arena will be sitting ducks, utterly helpless against evil-doers, criminals or others who wish to threaten the American way of life.
We are all too familiar with the mass carnage that can occur when citizens are denied their basic God-given rights to carry handguns or assault weapons in public. EVERY AMERICAN HAS THE RIGHT TO PROTECT AND DEFEND THEIR FAMILY. With this irresponsible and hypocritical act of selecting a “gun-free zone” for the convention, the RNC has placed its members, delegates, candidates and all US citizens in grave danger.
We must take a stand. We cannot allow the national nominating convention of the party of Lincoln and Reagan to be hijacked by weakness and political correctness. The policies of the Quicken Loans Arena do not supersede the rights given to us by our Creator in the U.S. Constitution.
It’s no secret that many top GOP officials are not at all happy about the possibility of Trump getting the party’s nomination, and there has been much speculation about the possibility of a brokered convention where the popular will of their base could be superseded. If Trump is denied the nomination, there’s a very good chance of an angry backlash from his supporters. You can count on it. Trump himself has even suggested that his supporters may “riot” if he is not the party’s nominee.
Imagine the 1968 DNC riots all over again, except move the venue over to the RNC and replace anti-war hippies with bitter old white people… WITH GUNS.
So, hey, go ahead and sign the petition—just to see how interesting it makes the 2016 RNC. The problem of Trump’s supporters may just solve itself.
Writer, musician, raconteur Dave Hill is the author of the upcoming comic anthology Dave Hill Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. Dave Hill is a very, very funny man. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Dick Cavett, Andy Richter, Malcolm Gladwell and John Hodgman also think he’s pretty hilarious. John Oliver must like Dave, too, because he uses “Go” by Dave’s band, Valley Lodge, as the jaunty theme tune for his Last Week Tonight with John Oliver show on HBO. Apparently Samantha Bee is a Hill fan, as well, since she had Dave on her new Full Frontal program earlier this week, serenading some college-educated Donald Trump supporters with a little ditty he’d composed about Trump especially for the occasion (see below).
And Dave actually knows what he’s singing about from experience. He really knows Donald Trump. Or at least he is—or was—once very, very briefly acquainted with the Donald for about an hour or so back in 2004…
The year was 2004. Both NBC’s The Apprentice and really fun cell-phone ringtones had taken an unsuspecting public by storm. I had managed to elude both—I kept my phone on vibrate and was ready to stare in bemusement at anyone even thinking of telling me I had been “fired.”
But I needed money, so when the call came to write ringtones for Donald Trump, a quiet businessman from Queens who had been reluctantly thrust into the spotlight by the seventh-most popular program on network television at the time, I said yes. I had been doing some freelance writing and one of my clients was among the tangle of corporations assigned to the case. Fortunately, they decided to throw me a bone.
Of course, I knew a thing or two about Trump already. He had flawless hair; he slept on piles of money each night; given the choice between having something not gold-plated or entirely gold-plated, he chose door number two every time. Still, I wanted to do the best job possible, so I had one of Trump’s minions send me copies of two of his books, Trump: The Art of the Deal and Trump: The Art of the Comeback, as well as an anatomically correct Trump doll that would tell me all sorts of things every time I pressed its back, something I couldn’t help but do repeatedly as soon as it came into my possession.
“You really think you’re a good leader?” the doll would ask, seemingly out of the blue. “I don’t.”
A little harsh, maybe, but also something I probably needed to hear.
Despite all the hours I spent playing with that doll, though, I had my work cut out for me. Somehow, in what I can only assume was the result of someone putting a gun to Trump’s head, NBC owned the rights to his electrifying catchphrase “You’re fired!” The challenge was mine to figure out what else he might say—to write some slogans people might want to hear coming out of their phones besides those two magical words that had already galvanized a nation.
“Your services are no longer required at this place of business!”
“Please stop showing up here for work, okay?”
“Die, you anus!”
These are but a few of the alternatives to “You’re fired!” that I proposed. In the end, though, it was decided that Trump’s ringtone avatar would be less cutthroat and more inspirational, encouraging cell-phone users to answer promptly so they could take advantage of a big business opportunity or maybe just hurt someone’s feelings. I whipped up a few dozen Trumpist gems. Track ‘em down if you like; I imagine they’re still out there somewhere, priced to move.
“This is Donald Trump. I have no choice but to tell you . . . you’re getting a phone call.”
“I’m Donald Trump and this is the call of a lifetime!”
“This is Donald Trump. Answer your phone now—it might be me calling.”
Maybe not my finest hour, but, hey—the customer is always right. After that, I assumed my work was done, but I ended up being asked to attend the actual taping, too, at none other than Trump Tower.
“You mean I’ll actually be in the room while Donald is saying the stuff I wrote?” I asked a guy from the ringtone concern.
“Yes,” he said, placing a hand on my shoulder for emphasis. This was officially about to be the biggest thing anyone in my family had ever done, including fighting in wars or any of that other crap my older relatives always went on about. Naturally, I couldn’t wait to tell them.
“I’m working with Donald Trump,” I told my mom over the phone.
“Who?” my mom asked.
“Donald Trump,” I told her. “The guy from The Apprentice.”
“David got a job with Tony Crump,” my mom yelled to my dad in the next room.
“That’s nice,” my dad yelled back.
They were pumped.
When the big day rolled around, I put on a suit and tie and worked as many hair products into my scalp as possible before heading over to Trump’s offices in midtown Manhattan to meet the other dozen or so people required to complete a task of this magnitude.
As expected, Trump HQ was beyond opulent. It was as if a blind decorator had been given an unlimited budget and told he’d never work in this town again.
“This way, please,” a Trump representative, who was difficult to focus on amid all that sparkle, said before leading us to a conference room. Along the way, I spotted Donald Jr. sitting in an adjacent office, his hair perfect, as he no doubt bought or sold something without even thinking about it. It ruled.
“You have one hour,” the rep announced, prompting everyone in the conference room to spring into action, turning it into a makeshift recording studio. A few minutes later, the doors opened and in walked Trump, somehow looking even Trumpier than I’d anticipated. He wore a suit and tie and, of course, his trademark scowl. And though he stood mere feet from me, I found I had no further insight into his hair-care regimen. Looking into his coiffure did nothing to demystify it. In fact, it only confused me more.
“Right this way, Mr. Trump,” a ringtone specialist said, gently urging him toward the microphones while being careful not to actually touch him.
“Let’s make this quick,” Trump grunted, already sounding like the ringtones I’d written. “I’ve got a busy day ahead of me.” At this point, a mild panic set in as everyone in the room became convinced he or she might very well be “fired” or at least told to wait by the elevators at any moment. As for me, though, I couldn’t help but relax a bit; it had suddenly occurred to me that Trump might not be the oblivious blowhard everyone thinks. I mean, sure, he was a blowhard, maybe even the biggest blowhard of all time, but he also seemed totally self-aware, like he knew he was just playing a character, and that as soon as we left, he’d run into Ivanka’s office, shut the door behind him, and squeal, “I got ‘em again, honey!” Something about that made me actually kind of like the guy, if I sat there and thought about it long enough.
Moments later, after a technician had scrambled to hit any and all record buttons, Trump began barreling through the ringtones, printed on large cue cards that would remain easily readable even when he squinted judgmentally, which was always. Occasionally he’d give emphasis to a different word or see if getting angrier might help sell things a bit more. Meanwhile, everyone else in the room remained pinned to the wall, just trying to get through the proceedings intact.
Things seemed to be going well enough until about twenty minutes later, when Trump paused abruptly and began scanning the room in the manner that, by now, haunts people’s dreams the world over.
“Who wrote these things?” he barked, pointing at the cue cards like he wanted them taken out back and shot.
“That guy! Dave Hill!” at least five people volunteered in unison, their tone suggesting they would happily stab me right then and there if Trump would just say the word.
I figured I might start gathering my things at this point, but before I could, Trump looked at me, dropped his scowl, and said, “You’re a very good writer.”
“Thanks,” I said with a nod, sensing a trap. For the remaining forty minutes or so of the recording session, Trump refused to address anyone in the room but me. Others tried to intervene, but as soon as they finished talking, Trump would turn to me, his right-hand man, and ask, “What do you think, Dave?”
It was a weird kind of trust to have earned, sure, but it was also kind of cool—especially considering that otherwise I probably would have been just sitting at home scanning Craigslist for missed connections.
As the session wrapped up, I recalled something else I’d learned about Trump through my tireless research: he hates shaking hands. Naturally, this made my mission clear. This will be the true test of our love, I thought as I stood waiting for any others brazen enough to approach Trump to say whatever they were gonna say with their hands glued to their sides before get- ting the hell out of his sight, dammit.
With the path clear, I approached him for some bro time.
“Nice working with you, Donald,” I told him.
“You, too, Dave,” he said.
“Thanks,” I replied. I gingerly extended my hand. I could feel eyebrows across the room rising in slow-motion panic.
Will he? Won’t he?
Against all odds, Trump slowly reached out and grabbed my hand, shaking it not so firmly, as if to suggest his henchmen might be waiting for me outside and not so softly as if to suggest a quality hang in Montauk was off the table. No, this was just right—perfect, in fact, almost like he was a regular human being who had done this sort of thing before. All these years later, that shake still feels like a victory of some sort, but I’m not sure for whom.
As I sit here writing this in my underpants, Donald Trump continues his disturbing bid for the American presidency. And I find myself hoping more than ever that he really is only playing a character, that maybe he’s just the greatest performance artist of our time, a modern-day Warhol or slightly chattier Marina Abramovíc who will any day now say “Tada!” and take a bow, then go open an all-you-can-eat shrimp joint in the Outer Banks or something.
With each passing day, I fear I may be wrong. Still, whatever happens, it’ll always be nice to look back on that day at Trump Tower and think, “Sure, he’s a hate-spewing boob who somehow manages to sound even angrier and crazier than that doll I still can’t help but drag out from under the bed every once in awhile…and, yes, he’s even got that certain awful something to win the endorsement of the unicellular Sarah Palin. But put the two of us in a room together for an hour and, goddamn, do that son of a bitch and I make one hell of a ringtone.