Elliot: Don’t go looking for nowhere

When the going gets nowhere, the everywhere takes a latte break.


File photo

Local protesters listen to speakers talk about the outcome of the recent election of Donald Trump on Thursday, November 10, 2016. The protest took place downtown Iowa City in front of the Marriott Hotel from 5-7 pm.

Beau Elliot, Opinions Columnist

Dear Doc Grammar:

Why don’t you ever talk about anything grammatical, like what we learned in school?

Dear Why:

Probably you meant “such as the items a few of us tried to learn in school,” given that, during grammar lessons, the majority of our classmates were off vacationing in cricket universe. Rather similar to what occurred during the lessons in fractions.

Not to dodge your question or anything. But we do watch White House press conferences.

Hey, Doc:

What the flapjack are you doing bringing up fractions? I still have nightmares.

Dear Pancake:

Sorry. We didn’t mean to wander into hostile territory.

But at least you don’t have half-mares. Which we hear are truly scary. And fractious.


So what do you have against White Nationalism? Or American Nationalism?

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Dear My Struggle:

We have nothing in particular against those words; taken singly, they’re all quite fine English words.

Well, maybe not “America,” which does, after all, come from Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci. Not that we’re trying to put the cartographer before the hoarse.

What we wonder about is why it took so long for Republicans to scorn him after years of seeking his patronage for the Iowa caucuses. We mean, he’s only spent a few decades acting as a professional bigot.

On the other hand, that particular combination of verbiage made a certain infamous Iowa congressman even more infamous recently. Not that that seemed possible.

What we wonder about is why it took so long for Republicans to scorn him after years of seeking his patronage for the Iowa caucuses (or as a campaign chair). We mean, he’s only spent a few decades acting as a professional bigot. While loudly proclaiming he’s not a racist. Who can forget his greatest hits, such as the time on the House floor demonstrating how electric fences would control Mexican immigration? That’s how we control cattle in Iowa, he said. Or words to that effect.

He does, in many ways, send us back to the old days, when certain segments of the right wing were positive that the U.N. was getting set to take over the U.S. Black helicopters and bar codes on the backs of highway signs were the clues. The bar codes were supposed to give the helicopters directions on where to go to oppress true American patriots. How helicopters in the air were supposed to read the bar codes on highway signs was never detailed. But, you know. So many fantasies leave out the details.

That’s the basic wonder of fantasies.

Yo, Doc:

What about this government shutdown? Wouldn’t it be better if everybody just shut up?

Dear Shut:

At least some of us still know down from up. We think. Remembering Richard Fariña.

Look. Around a year ago (February 2018), the Democrats and Republicans compromised on an immigration/border law and passed it. The bill had $25 billion for the border wall and a provision for protecting DACA. Trump had said he’d sign it, but the right-wing commentariat got in his ear, and he shut-canned the law. To use the polite word.

Trumpy has very little chance of Democrats compromising now. Unless, of course, they remember they’re supposed to be liberals. That’s a disease that involves people suddenly losing their spines.

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We will mention this: On Jan. 9, national park rangers were on furlough because of the shutdown. On that day, the D.C. Trump hotel Clock Tower, a tourist attraction, still had national park rangers working. Hmm.

Dear Democrat apologist:

It has come out that Democrats used the same dirty tricks with social media in the Alabama Senate election that the Russians used in 2016. What’d’ya say to that?

Dear Dirty Tricks:

Apparently, those Alabama Democrats forgot one of the basic rules of political life: You don’t have to be Tricky Dick to beat Tricky Dick. See Watergate.

Or a more human rule: If you can’t take the high road, don’t take any road. Because your journey is going nowhere.

And, to paraphrase Steve Goodman, don’t go looking for nowhere. Nowhere will find you.