SHEER MADNESS: Devolution (Part Two)

by Jim Burnett 

August 8, 2019

 It’s been two years since I wrote Devolution, Part One. And things haven’t gotten any better, have they?  “The dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred” shrouds the land. We’re all bleeding, most of us spiritually. But many for real, as the number of mass shootings in 2019 in America – over 250 — outpace the number of days of the year.

Despite the continual and understandable attempts to normalize Donald Trump – a natural reaction, since no one wants to acknowledge that the man with his teeny, tiny  fingers on the nuclear button is bonkers. Mentally ill. Suffering from a terminal case of narcissistic personality disorder. Along with the worst elements of borderline personality disorder, paper-thinned skin and uncontrollable rage.

In the July 29, 2019 issue of “The New Yorker,” Jelani Cobb wrote, “For the past two years, observers have been divided about whether Trump’s tweets are calculated trolling, designed to keep his opponents off balance, or the sincere expressions of an unbalanced psyche. The current outburst [telling The Squad’s four Congresswomen of color they should go back where they came from] indicates that the answer is both.”

With the emphasis on the latter.

Ever notice that virtually every insult that Trump dishes out at people boomerang to describe Trump his ownself?

I have.

Calling black people “racists.”

Calling Baltimore Congressman Elijah Cummings “a brutal bully.”

Calling women “fat.”

Nicknaming political opponents “Lyin’ (Ted Cruz),” “Crazy (Bernie Sanders),” “Crooked (Hillary Clinton).”

Calling the Pope “disgraceful.”

Calling Megyn Kelly “a bimbo.”

Calling an ABC reporter “a sleaze.”

Accusing The Squad of “saying vile things.”

Calling Meghan Markle, Kamala Harris, and other women “nasty.”

Calling the British ambassador “a very stupid guy” and “a pompous fool.”

Calling Bette Midler “a washed up psycho.”

In the wake of the El Paso and Dayton massacres, saying that “hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul.”


On the flip side, almost every dazzling compliment Trump bestows upon himself is ludicrously untrue.

“I know words. I know the best words.”

Calling himself “a stable genius.”

And the ultimate gas lit topper, “My rhetoric brings people together.”


After Trump called Baltimore “a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess,”                                              David Simon, creator of “The Wire,” labeled Trump a “simplistic, racist moron.”

As nicknames for Trump go, The Simplistic, Racist Moron isn’t bad. But the range of possibilities Trump inspires seems limitless. Code Orange. The Stable Genius [Not!]. The Lyingest Liar. Your Daily Tantrump. O’Beast. And the most chilling of them all: President of the United States of America!

Not sure if any of those nicknames are close enough to stick to the bone. None have the visceral, crunchy perfection of Moscow Mitch, slapped on the arguably treasonous mob boss of the Senate. Although Machine Gun Mitch might work as well, since McConnell has never met a gun safety bill he couldn’t blast into smithereens. Or perhaps The Ugliest American – no, not a reference to his external appearance but instead to his blackened cinder of a heart.

While McConnell’s newfound willingness to consider background checks and red flag laws sound promising, the former is likely to be watered down by the NRA into pablum and the latter, while a good idea, represents little more that the tip of the iceberg. (As a mental health counselor at my local hospital for the past five years, I’ve seen several hundred patients. Only a couple of them struck me as a potentially violent threat to others.)

Of course, the iceberg itself consists of assault weapons. Sure, let every red-blooded American own a weapon of mass destruction. We’ll be so much safer that way! The NRA and fanatical gun nuts are drawn to assault weapons like toddlers are to light sockets. Responsible parents don’t give little boys and girls metal coins to insert in light sockets, they tape them up. Responsible countries don’t give citizens easy access to killing machines, they do their best to restrict access to the military and to law enforcement.

But I digress. Let’s get back to the important stuff – nicknames.

Perhaps The Boogeyman fits Trump the best, as we huddle under the bed, dreading the nightmare consequences of his next ego-driven impulse. Or maybe The Bogey Man, given Trump’s obsession with golf — more particularly cheating at golf — as Rick Reilly chronicles in “Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump.”                    .

Or maybe the nickname slapped on Trump by shell-shocked White House staffers, whispered with a mixture of derision and dread: The Boogerman.

Trump has invented a new West Wing ritual, designed to amuse himself and  humiliate his underlings, including aides, Cabinet members and Republican members of Congress.

He calls it Midnight Snack.

Late at night, Trump summons an unlucky soul who has triggered his ire.

The unfortunate victim enters the Oval Office and is presented with a silver tray dating back to the time of Lincoln. A bone-white china plate on the tray is arrayed with a couple of dozen boogers, which O’Beast has personally fished from his nostrils during the day while he watches Fox News.

If Trump is in a rare, charitable mood, he orders up some ketchup to accompany the midnight repast.

“Trump boogers are the biggest and best boogers in the world, and it’s not even close,” Trump bragged during an Oval Office meeting with the stunned President of Luxembourg. “I’ve been told by many people that no one will even eat an Obama or Pelosi booger. And The Squad’s boogers are so disgusting, even hungry kids in cages won’t touch them.”

However, a Deep State dark website, accessible only by government employees, tells a different story.

“Trump’s boogers are horrifying,” posted one high-level staffer. “They’re squishy and infested with bile. I vomited all over the Rose Garden afterwards, and I was sick for a month. It took three courses of antibiotics to knock out the infection, and I’m still being treated for PTSD.”

After chowing down, the victim kisses the soles of Trump’s teeny, tiny feet and recites, “Thank you for allowing me to serve you, Chosen One.”

But that’s nothing compared to what the American public has to choke down from Trump on a daily basis. Except for Trump’s hard-core base, who pack his rallies to worship him with a spooky, joyous adulation seldom seen since the heyday of the Manson girls, it should be obvious that Trump is a sociopathic loon.

“The evidence of Trump’s unfitness for the Presidency – whether it is calculated or simply deranged – is inescapable,” writes Jelani Cobb.

If Trump really was a stable genius – or even moderately intelligent and not batshit crazy – he’d be tacking to the center rather than constantly playing to his base, which isn’t sufficiently large enough to re-elect him. At least absent heaps of assistance from foreign intervention, voter suppression, and a Democratic candidate as arrogant, entitled, and tarnished as Hillary. (I’m looking at you, Uncle Joe.)

But why the long face, Mister Ed? Won’t Big Tech, led by the richest and most powerful companies in the world, step in to save the day? Won’t the god-like founders, venerated and fawned over like movie stars, turn their attention to the public good in these perilous times?

Well, let’s see. Peter Thiel is shilling for Trump, encouraging an escalation of trade wars with China, and dreams of moving to a floating ocean island of libertarians.

Jeff Bezos, who treats Amazon warehouse workers like cattle, says we need to go to Mars since we’ve “in the process of destroying this planet.” Way to be part of the solution, Richest Man in the World! (Pre-divorce settlement.)

Elon Musk, as hyper-sensitive and combative as Trump, falsely called one of the rescuers of a bunch of kids trapped in a cave a “pedo” (pedophile), for no other reason than the fact that Musk didn’t get to be a hero by sending his little submarine to help in the rescue.

Apple’s Tim Cook, lost in the shadow of Steve Jobs, flogs expensive, slightly updated phones, fights anti-trust battles, and rests on its laurels of former glory.

Then there’s the dynamic, demonic duo of Zuckerberg and Sandberg, thefts of our privacy and architects of a forum exploited by armies of malevolent actors who gin up everything from election fraud to genocide.

Reeling from calls to break up the company, Facebook responded in a typically tone deaf manner, proposing a new currency, Libra, a nifty way to collect even more information about us.

Now, according to rumor, Facebook is going back to basics. Originally, Zuckerberg called his creation The Facebook. Now he plans to introduce My Face Book, a computer that looks exactly like a book. You put a zillion digital photos of yourself in it, write some verse or poems or quotes from philosophers if you’re so inclined, display pictures of the meals you eat and shit you buy, and carry it around to dazzle anyone willing to look at the masterpiece that is your life.

Kind of like a phone, but with a much bigger and better screen and a big picture of your face on both the front AND the back cover.

It’s all about you! You’re the author and the editor, you ask your friends and real-life authors and reviewers to send you blurbs and ecstatic quotes. Which isn’t difficult. There are thousands of starving writers who will pen you a blurb of your choice for a few bucks.

Lots of people say they’d like to write a book, and now you can! You too can be a published author, just like Vonnegut or Pynchon or James Patterson. And you can keep adding to your book on daily basis, chronicling your entire fascinating life for anyone and everyone to see.

Sounds like a sure fire moneymaker to me. After all, no one ever underestimated the self-absorption and the narcissism of the American people.

As for the rest of the Big Tech geniuses who yearn to escape from the shackles of our diseased and damaged planet, a modest suggestion. Give them what they want. Send them to Mars. The sooner the better.

Let’s face facts. We’ve wrecked this place. All of us. Through our shallowness, through our laziness, through our smugness, through our collective attention  deficit disorder.

America is broken. Even if Trump’s new nickname after he leaves office is Prisoner 8646, his legion of acolytes will still be with us. The new civil war will rage on.

So give them what they want, too. A land of their own. They can have Texas (with Austin a demilitarized zone), Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Kansas, the Dakotas and any other Deep Red state that wants to opt out.

After refugees from those states are allowed to emigrate and join the rest of us, the New Confederacy of the white, far-right, and not-particularly-bright will be open for business. With Donald Trump as it’s Grand Wizard for life.

The New Confederacy can get busy resurrecting all those statues and monuments. It can build a wall to the stars, where no one can get in.

Or out. Call it a win-win.

The good people of the New Confederacy can poison the air with fossil fuels, shoot wildlife, and often each other, with their AK-7s, and trade conspiracy theories about the Clintons’ role in the deaths of Jack and Bobby Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, and Sharon Tate. The most popular new show on ConFox is likely to be “Fox Noose,” a program featuring footage from actual and recreated lynchings, as well as Holocaust footage and tapes of waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques meted out to Muslims accused to terrorism.

If the 21,000 plus Latinos for Trump – yes, an actual group, at least according to its Facebook page – opt to join the New Confederacy, they will be welcome to cook tacos and burritos at Mexican restaurants, and housed in comfortable barracks updated from former slave quarters with TVs, portable fans, and coin-operated washers and dryers.

After all, white nationalists love Mexican. Not Mexicans. Mexican food. On Cinco de Mayo, Trump, Steven Miller, and Carson Tucker will appear on ConFox to eat taco bowls and thank the brown non-citizens for their contributions to the New Confederacy. Then they will remind viewers that any Hispanic who steals a morsel of rice or beans to feed his or her family will have his or her hands cut off with a machete in the town square.

Meanwhile, the rest of us can try to repair the tattered and shattered American Dream, if we have the wisdom and the will and the energy to do so.


Note: Written by Jim Burnett, a writer in Northern California and the founder of


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